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of the 




Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 96 

price: four pounds fifty pence 


It has been possible to maintain Vol. 96 at 144 pages and the waiting time for publication 
of submitted papers usually at six months or less. Costs have continued to rise, but every 
effort will be made to avoid reducing the size of Vol. 97. 

The Editor is glad to be able to thank his predecessor, Sir Hugh Elliott, for making his 
introduction to the editorial chair so painless and for providing such detailed advice on the 
running of the Bulletin for its continued ease of production. Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Benson 
and Mrs. M. Hawksley are to be generously thanked for their time-consuming work in 
preparing the lists, index and corrigenda, and Mr. C. W. Benson for the considerable work 
entailed in supplying relevant matter from the International Trust for Zoological Nomen- 
clature, who kindly allow us to reprint it from the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature for the 
benefit of our readers. 

Mr. K. E. Wiltsher and his staff have withstood the editorial change and hand-writing 

without sign or sound of impatience and have as ever published the Bulletin punctually each 

quarter, for which I am most grateful. 



1975-76 1976-77 

Prof. J. H. Elgood, Chairman (1974) Prof. J. H. Elgood, Chairman (1974) 

P. Hogg, Vice-Chairman (1974) P. Hogg, Vice-Chairman (1974) 

Sir Hugh Elliott (1975) ~\ Dr. J. F. Monk, Editor (1976) 

Dr. J. F. Monk (1976) / R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1971) 

R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1971) M. St. J. Sugg, Hon. Treasurer (1974) 

M. St. J. Sugg, Hon. Treasurer (1974) Dr. G. Beven (1976) 

J. H. R. Boswall (1973) Mrs. J. D. Bradley (1975) 

Mrs. J. D. Bradley (1975) Dr. C. J. O. Harrison (1974) 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison (1974) C. E. Wheeler (1975) 
C. E. Wheeler (1975) 

(Compiled by the Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer) 

New Members 

Arita, Ichiro, Forest Ecological Laboratory, College of Agriculture, Kyoto University, 
Kitashirakawa, Sakyo, Kyoto 606, Japan. 

Austin, George T., Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 
Nevada 89154, U.S.A. 

Becking, Dr. J-H., I.T.A.L., Postbus 48, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 

Beer, T., Tawside, 30 Park Avenue, Barnstaple, Devon. 

Belman, P. J., 107 Grange Road, Ealing, London W5 3PH. 

Bynon, J., Doct. es Ling., School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 
London WCiE 7HP. 

Cape, J. A. D., Kapsumbeiwa Estate, P.O. Box I, Nandi Hills, Kenya. 

Collier, Gerald, ph.d., Dept. of Zoology, San Diego State University, San Diego, 
California 92182, U.S.A. 

Davies, Miss H. M.,, 43 Endcliffe Glen Road, Sheffield Sn 8RW. 

Dirks, Mrs. J. M., P.O. Box 30601, Nairobi, Kenya. 

Dooremans, H. P., P.O. Box 1659, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

Fisher, D. J., 9 Hurford Place, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF2 6QZ. 

Galsworthy, A. C, m.a., i Kingsthorpe Court, Raymond Road, Wimbledon, London 
SW19 4AE. 

Gosler, A. G., 24 Baronsmede, Ealing, London W5. 

Kendall, Marion D., ph.d., Dept. of Anatomy, St. Thomas's Hospital Medical School, 
London SEi. 

Lewis, A. D., ph.d., Dept. of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton 
Keynes, Bucks. 

Lucey, R. G., 35 Sandpiper Street, Yellow Wood Park, Durban 4001, Republic of South 

Massey, M. J., 85 Park Avenue East, Ewell, Epsom, Surrey KT17 2PA. 

Nichols, Mrs. Holly A. J., 10611 Mt. Boracho, San Antonio, Texas 78213, U.S.A. 

O'Mahony, B., Kelvin, Well Road, Cork, Ireland. 

Orr, I. C, m.a., b.phil., Resident Clerk's Flat, Downing St. West, Foreign and Common- 
wealth Office, London SWiA 2 AH. 

Parrott, J. R., Aberdeen University Bird Club, Zoology Dept., Tillydrone Avenue, 
Aberdeen AB9 2TN, Scotland. 

Redman, P. S., Redwings, Crowhurst, Battle, Sussex. 

Richardson, M. E., m.r.c.g.p., 48 Silverknowes Crescent, Edinburgh EH4 5 JB, Scotland. 

Smalley, M. E., ph.d., M.R.C. Laboratories, Fajara, P.O. Box 273, Banjul, The Gambia, 
West Africa. 

Snow, D. W.,, Zoological Museum, Tring, Herts. 

Thibault, J-C, 15 rue Daubenton, Paris 75005, France. 

Vittery, A., Maputo, c/o F.C.O., King Charles Street, London SWiA 2AH. 

Voous, Prof. Dr. K. H., V.D. Duyn Van Maasdamlaan 28, Huizen, N.H., The Netherlands. 

Wilson, R. T., 21 Westfield Grove, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. 

Wood, J. B.,, Zoology Dept., University College, Gower Street, London WCiE iBT 


Duplaix-Hall, Mrs. N. 


Neighbour, Lieut.-Col. J. R. 

Removed from Membership 

Brighten, R. 
Coles, S. J. W. 
Forbes-Watson, A. D. 
Fullager, P. J. 
Malcolm, N. S. 
Meriwani, Y. 

Templeton, R. K. 
Tree, A. J. 

Plowden Wardlaw, W. J. 
Campbell of Craigie 

Prescott, K. W. 

Start, A. N. 


Young, K. B. 


Accounts, 1975 

Annual General Meeting (84th) 
Benson, C. W. 

Sj mposium on African birds (in part) 

Specimens of Neodrepanis hypoxantha in Dresden 
Books Received 
Britton, P. L. and Britton, H. A. 

The nest and eggs of Tauraco fiscberi 
Britton, P. L. and Osborne, T. O. 

The race of Sterna berg// in Kenya 
Brooke, R. K. 

Morphological notes on Acridotheres tristis in Natal 

Buccal colours of sunbirds as an age character 

Layard's extralimital records in his Birds of South Africa and in the South 
African Museum 
Brown, L. H. 

Observations on Pel's Fishing Owl Scotopelia pel'/ 

Breeding records of Hemprich's Hornbill Tockus hempricbii in Tigrai, Ethiopia 
Brown, L. H. and Thorogood, K. M. 

Ecology and breeding habits of the White-billed Starling Onycbognatbus albi- 
rostris in Tigrai, Ethiopia 
Browning, M. Ralph 

Remarks on the validity of Carpodacus rosei/s sacbalinensis Portenko 
Bruce, Murray D. 

Earliest record of the Torres Strait Pigeon Di/cula spilorrboa from Lord Howe 
Island, with comments on the subspecies melvillensis 

See also Orenstein 
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 

Opinions 1037 and 1046 

Direction 107 
Burton, P. J. K. 

See McLoughlin 
Cheke, R. A. 

Notes on a nesting female Variable Sunbird Nectarinia venusta. . 
Clancey, P. A. 

The subspecific status of the southern African populations of Streptopelia 
semitorqi/ata (Rlippell) 

Subspeciation in the Marico Flycatcher Melaenornis mariquens'/s (Smith) of 
Southwestern Africa 

Further on subspeciation in the Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorbynchus 
Colebrook-Robjent, J. F. R. and Stjernstedt, R. 

Chaplin's Barbet Lybius cbaplini: first description of eggs, a new host record 
for the Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor 
Committee, 1975 Report of . . 
Dean, W. R. J. 

Sympatric Cisticola spp. and the competition exclusion principle 

Breeding records of Crex egregia, Myrmecocichla nigra and Cichladusa ruficauda 
from Angola 
Dickerman, Robert W. 

Caprimulgus ser'/cocaudatus mengeli subsp. no v. 
Elliott, C. C. H. 

Symposium on African birds (in part) 
Elliott, Sir Hugh 

Symposium on African birds (in part) 
Erard, C. 

Comments on the races of Lyb/us melanocephalus (Cretzschmar) in Ethiopia 
Forbes- Watson, A. D. 

See Turner 





























i 13-120 









Gillmor, Robert 

An address on Bird Illustrations 
Gorton, Eric 

On a variety of the Moorhen Gallinula chloropus from Northern England . . 47-48 
Grimes, L. G. 

The vocalizations of the Green Longtail Urolais epichlora 

The duets of Laniarius atroflavus, Cist kola discolor and Bradypterus barratti 
Hall, B. P. 

Symposium on African birds (in part) 
Harris, M. P. 

An illustrated address on Puffins on St. Kilda 
Harrison, C. J. O. 

An illustrated address on eggs 

The wing proportions of the Eocene Diver Colymboides anglicus 

The tendinal canals of the hypotarsi as a taxonomic character of water birds 
Harvey, W. G. 

Caprimulgus affinis as an urban species in Indonesia 
Harvey, W. G. and Holmes, D. A. 

Additions to the avifaunas of Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia 
Holmes, D. A. 

A record of White- winged Wood Duck Cairina scutulata in Sumatra 

See also Harvey 


Halcyon "ruficollaris" 

Additional notes on the status of Eos goodfellowi 
Karr, James R. 

Weights of African birds .... . . . . . . . . . . . . 92-96 

Kear, J. 

An address on the role of zoos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2 

Knox, Alan G. 

The Taxonomic Status of the Scottish Crossbill Loxia sp. .. .. .. 15-19 

Lack, Peter C. 

The first recorded nest of the Pink-breasted Lark Mirafra poecilosterna 

(Reichenow) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... 111-112 

Luther, John S. 

See Remsen 
McLoughlin, E. and Burton, P. J. K. 

Notes on the Hawk-headed Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus . . . . . . 68-72 

Mead, C. J. 

See Peirce 
Medway, Lord 

See Wells 
O'Neill, John P. and Parker, III, Theodore A. 

New subspecies of Schi^peaca fuliginosa and Uromyias agraphia from Peru . . 13 6-1 41 
Orenstein, Ronald I. and Bruce, Murray D. 

Comments on the nesting and plumage of the Orange Dove Ptilinopus victor 2-4 

Osborne, T. O. 

See Britton 
Parker, III, Theodore A. 

See O'Neill 
Parkes, Kenneth C. 

The status of Aratinga astec melloni Twomey . . . . . . . . . . 13-15 

Peirce, M. A. and Mead, C. J. 

Haematozoa of British birds. I. Blood parasites of birds from Dumfries and 

Lincolnshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128-132 

Prigogine, A. 

Occurrence of the Madagascar Squacco Heron Ardeola idae in Central Africa 96-97 
Remsen, J. V., Luther, John S. and Roberson, Don 

A Ringed Woodpecker Celeus torquatus in Colombia . . . . . . . . 40 

Roberson, Don 

See Remsen 


Smith, A. P. 

Vagrant Lapwings Vanellus spp. in Brunei . . . . . . . . . . 80 

Snow, D. W. 

Agapornis swinderniana in Ghana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 

Southern, H. N. 

An illustrated address on a population of Tawny Owls . . . . . . 113 

Stjernstedt, R. 


Thomson, A. Landsborough 

The name of Eleonora's Falcon .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 112 

Thorogood, K. M. 

See Brown 
Turner, D. A. and Forbes- Watson, A. D. 

Additional Migrant Records from Seychelles .. .. .. .. .. 57-58 

Status of the White-crowned Starling Spreo albicapillus (Blyth) in Kenya . . 58 

Wells, D. R. and Medway, Lord 

Taxonomic and faunistic notes on birds of the Malay Peninsula . . . . 20-34 

White, C. M. N. 

The problem of the cassowary in New Britain . . . . . . . . . . 66-68 

Comments on the Dusky Moorhen Gallinida tenebrosa. . . . .. ..125-128 

Wilson, R. T. 

The Ostrich Strutbio camelus in Darfur, Republic of Sudan . . . . . . 123-125 

Woodell, Rebecca 

Variation in juvenile plumage oiCentropiis toulou ton Ion (3S I tiller) and Centropus 

toulou insularis Ridgway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72-75 


(Compiled by C. W. Benson with the assistance of 
Mrs. C. W. Benson and Mrs. M. Hawksley) 

All generic and specific names (of birds only) are indexed. Sub specific names are included only if new 
and are also indexed in bold print under the generic and the specific names. Any other new name is 
indexed likewise in bold print. 

Abroscopus superciliaris 30 
Acanthis cannabina 129 

— flammea 129 
Accipiter rufitorques 3 

— tachiro 94 
accipitrinus, Deroptyus 68-72 
Acridotheres tristis 8-13 
Acrocephalus schoenobaenus 129 

— scirpaceus 129 
Acryllium vulturinum 77 
aequatorialis, Sheppardia 95 
aequinoctialis, Procellaria 77-78 
Aerodramus brevirostris 26 

— francicus 79 

— fuciphagus 26 

— maximus 26 
aestiva, Amazona 70-71 
aethereus, Phaethon 21, 84 
aethiopicus, Laniarius 94 
Aethopyga mystacalis 3 1 

— saturata 31 

— siparaja 31 
affinis, Batrachostomus 25 

— , Caprimulgus 122 

— , Curruca 142 
africanoides, Buphaga 105 
Agapornis cana 78 

— swinderniana 106 
agilis, Uromyias 141 
agraphia, Uromyias 136, 140-141 
Ajaja ajaja 85 

ajaja, Ajaja 85 
alba, Calidris 77 

— , Gygis 79 

— , Motacilla 129 
albicapillus, Spreo 58 
albifrons, Amblyospiza 95 
albipectus, Trichastoma 95 
albirostris, Onychognathus 60-61 
alboterminatus, Tockus 77 
Alca torda 8 5 
Alcedo leucogaster 94 
Alcyone ruficollaris 40 
Alethe diademata 94 

— poliocephala 94 
alexandrinus, Charadrius 77 
althaea, Sylvia 142 
Amaurornis phoenicurus 48 
Amazona aestiva 70-71 

— guildingii 72 

ambiguus, Palaeolodus 85 
Amblyospiza albifrons 95 
americana, Mycteria 85 
amethystina, Nectarinia 59 
Ampelion sclateri 136 
Andropadus curvirostris 94 

— latirostris 94 

— masukuensis 94 

— virens 94 
anglicus, Colymboides 64-65 
Anhinga anhinga 84 
anhinga, Anhinga 84 

anna, Calypte 7 
Anous stolidus 79 

— tenuirostris 79 
Anseranas semipalmata 85 
antarctica, Pygostelis 85 
Anthracoceros coronatus 27 
Anthreptes fraseri 95 

— platura 7 
Anthus pratensis 129 
Apalis 101 

— flavida 95 
apivorus, Pernis 57 
approximans, Circus 3 
apricaria, Pluvialis 77 
aquila, Fregata 84 
Aratinga astec 13-15 

— nana 15 

Ardea cinerea 21-22, 85-86 

— leucoptera 77-78 
Ardeola idae 77, 96-97 

— ralloides 77, 96-97 
ardeola, Dromas 77-78 
ardesiaca, Egretta 78 
argentatus, Larus 85 
aridula, Cisticola 38 
arquata, Numenius 77-78, 85 
assimilis, Puffinus 76 

astec, Aratinga 13-15 

— , Conurus 14 
ater, Parus 129 
atra, Fulica 48 
atricapilla, Estrilda 96 

— ■, Sylvia 129 
atrococcineus, Laniarius 119 
atroflavus, Laniarius 11 3-1 14, 119 
Aviceda leuphotes 90 
ayresii, Cisticola 38-39 
Aythya fuligula 85 

bairdi, Prinia 95 
Balaeniceps rex 84, 87 
balasiensis, Cypsiurus 26 
Balearica pavonina 89 
banyumas, Cyornis 31 
barbarus, Laniarius 114, 119 
barbatus, Criniger 94 

— , Pycononotus 94 
barratti, Bradypterus 113, 11 7-1 18 
batesi, Nectarinia 59 
Bathmocercus cerviniventris 95 
Batrachostomus affinis 25 

— javensis 25 
baumanni, Phyllastrephus 94 
becki, Casuarius 67 
bengalensis, Centropus 25 
bennetti, Casuarius 66 
bergii, Sterna 132-134 
bernsteini, Sterna 24 
bicolor, Nigrita 96 
bifasciata, Nectarinia 59 
bilineatus, Pogoniulus 94 
Biziura lobata 85 

Bleda canicapilla 94 

— eximia 94 

— syndactyla 94 
blissetti, Platysteira 95 
blythii, Onychognathus 60 
borbonica, Phedina 131 
borealis, Phylloscopus 30 
borin, Sylvia 129 
bornea, Eos 120 
Botaurus stellaris 84 
bourbonnensis, Terpsiphone 79 
Brachypteryx leucophrys 29-30 
brachyrhynchus, Oriolus 96 
brachyurus, Micropternus 27 
Bradornis mariquensis 56 
Bradypterus barratti 113, 117-118 
brehmeri, Turtur 94 
brevicaudata, Camaroptera 95 
brevirostris, Aerodramus 26 
brunnescens, Cisticola 38 

Bubo lacteus 50 
Bubulcus 77 

— ibis 79 
Buccanodon duchaillui 94 
Buphaga africanoides 105 
Buphagus erythrorhynchus 102-105 
Buteo 57 

Butorides striatus 77-78 

caeruleus, Parus 129 
Cairina scutulata 88-89 
Calidris alba 77 

— ferruginea 77 

— minuta 77 

— ruficollis 90 
— ■ subminuta 90 

calliope, Selasphorus 7 

calurus, Criniger 94 
calvus, Geronticus 85 
Calypte anna 7 
Calyptomena viridis 27-28 
Camaroptera brevicaudata 95 

— chloronota 95 
camelus, Struthio 123 
Campethera nivosa 94 
cana, Agapornis 78 
canicapilla, Bleda 94 

— , Nigrita 95 
cannabina, Acanthis 129 
capense, Daption 76 
Caprimulgus affinis 122 

— scricocaudatus 80 
carbo, Phalacrocorax 84 
Carduelis carduelis 129 
carduelis, Carduelis 129 
Carpodacus roseus 44-46 
caspia, Sterna 79, 134 
castanea, Platysteira 95 
castaniceps, Seicercus 25, 30 
castro, Oceanodroma 84 
Casuarius becki 67 

— bennetti 66 

— casuarius 66 

— foersteri 67 

— keysseri 67 

— - unappendiculatus 66-67 
casuarius, Casuarius 66 
caudacuta, Chaetura 26 
Celeus 27 

— torquatus 40 
Centropus bengalensis 25 

— toulou 25, 72-75 
Cepphus grylle 85 
Cercotrichas leucostictus 94 

— quadrivirgata 94 
Certhia familiaris 129 
cerviniventris, Bathmocercus 95 
Ceyx lecontei 94 
Chaetodon punctatus 142 
Chaetura caudacuta 26 
chalybea, Nectarinia 59 
chaplini, Lybius 109-110 
Charadrius alexandrinus 77 

— hiaticula 129 
chilensis, Phoenicopterus 85 
chinensis, Streptopelia 8 
chloris, Nicator 94 
Chlorocichla flaviventris 94 

— simplex 94 
chloronota, Camaroptera 95 
chloronotus, Criniger 94 
chloropus, Gallinula 47, 127 
chloropygia, Nectarinia 95 
Chordeiles 122 
Chrysocolaptes validus 27 
Chrysoenas 3-4 
chrysostoma, Diomedea 76-77 

chubbi, Cisticola 119 
Cichladusa ruficauda 48 
cinerascens, Circus 78 
cinerea, Ardea 21-22, 85-86 

— Motacilla 129 
cinereus, Vanellus 80 
Circaetus gallicus 77 
Circus approximans 3 

— cinerascens 78 

— macrosceles 78 

— maillardii 78 

— pygargus 78 

— spilonotus 78 
cirrocephalus, Larus 78-79 
Cisticola aridula 38 

— ayresii 38-39 

— brunnescens 38 

— chubbi 119 

— discolor 11 3-1 16, 11 8-1 19 

— erythrops 95 

— exilis 91 

— hunteri 115, 119 

— juncidis 38, 91 

— - nigriloris 115, 119 

— textrix 38-39 
cleaveri, Trichastoma 95 
Cochlearius cochlearius 84-87 
cochlearius, Cochlearius 84-87 
coelebs, Fringilla 129 
Colius striatus 94 
Collocalia esculenta 26 
collurio, Lanius 77 
Collyrio corvinus 77 
Columba guinea 62 

— livia 131 

— palumbus 3, 131 
columbianus, Cygnus 85 
Colymboides anglicus 64-65 

— minutus 65, 84, 87 
communis, Sylvia 129 
concolor, Hirundo 28 

— , Macrosphenus 95 
concreta, Platysteira 95 
conures, Pyrrhura 72 
Conurus astec 14 
Coracina novaehollandiae 28 

— typica 79 
Coracopsis nigra 78 
corax, Corvus 85-86 
coronatus, Anthracoceros 27 
corvinus, Collyrio 77 
Corvus corax 85-86 

— enca 28 

— macrorhynchos 28 
corythaix, Tauraco 135 
Cossypha cyanocampter 95 

— natalensis 95 
Crex egregia 48 
Criniger barbatus 94 

— calurus 94 

Criniger chloronotus 94 
crispus, Pelecanus 84 
cristatus, Podiceps 84 
croiseti, Gervaisia 87 
crumeniferus, Leptoptilos 77-78 
cucullatus, Ploceus 95 
Cuculus poliocephalus 25 

— saturatus 25 
cuprea, Nectarinia 59, 95 
Curruca affinis 142 
curruca, Sylvia 129 
curvirostra, Loxia 15-19 
curvirostris, Andropadus 94 
cuvieri, Dryolimnas 78 
cyanea, Platysteira 95 
cyanocampter, Cossypha 95 
cyanomelas, Trochocercus 95 
Cygnus columbianus 85 
Cyornis banyumas 31 

— rubeculoides 31 

— rufigastra 31 

— tickelliae 31 

— whitei 31 
Cypsiurus balasiensis 26 

dactylatra, Sula 21, 79, 84 
Daption capense 76 
debilis, Phyllastrephus 94 
Delichon urbica 28, 129 
Dendrobiastes hyperythrus 31 
Dendrocygna viduata 78, 85, 87 
Deroptyus accipitrinus 68-72 
desolata, Pachyptila 77 
diademata, Alethe 94 
Dicaeum ignipectus 32 

— trigonostigma 32 
Dicrurus ludwigii 96 
Diomedea chrysostoma 76-77 

— exulans 76 

— melanophrys 84 

discolor, Cisticola 113-116, 11 8-1 19 
Dissoura episcopus 85 
domesticus, Passer 8 
dominica, Pluvialis 77 
Drepane 142-143 
Drepanichthys 143 
Drepanis 143 

Drepanoptila holosericea 3-4 
Dromas ardeola 77-78 
Dryolimnas cuvieri 78 
duchaillui, Buccanodon 94 
Ducula spilorrhoa 97-98 
duvaucelii, Harpactes 26 

ecaudatus, Terathopius 77-78 
edolioides, Melaenornis 95 
egregia, Crex 48 
Egretta 77 

— ardesiaca 78 

— gularis 78 

eleonorae, Falco 1 1 2 
Emberiza schoeniclus 129 
enca, Corvus 28 
Enixe 143 
Eos bornea [20 

— goodfellowi 1 20-1 21 

— rubra 120 

— squamata 121 
epichlora, Urolais 99-101 
episcopus, Dissoura 85 
Erithacus rubecula 129 
erythrocephalus, Harpactes 26 
erythrogaster, Laniarius 114, 119 
erythrophrys, Turtur 37 
erythrops, Cisticola 95 
erythropus, Tringa 77 
erythrorhynchus, Buphagus 102-105 
erythrothorax, Stiphrornis 95 
esculenta, Collocalia 26 

Estrilda atricapilla 96 

— troglodytes 96 
Eulampis jugularis 7 
eurizonoides, Rallina 23-24 
Eurystomus glaucurus 78 
exilis, Cisticola 91 
eximia, Bleda 94 
exulans, Diomedea 76 

falcinellus, Plegadis 85 
Falco eleonorae 112 

— peregrinus 3 
familiaris, Certhia 129 
famosa, Nectarinia 5 
ferruginea, Calidris 77 
Ficedula hyperythra 31 

— hypoleuca 129 

— solitaris 31 
fischeri, Phyllastrephus 94 

— , Tauraco 134-136 
flammea, Acanthis 129 
flavida, Apalis 95 
flavipes, Notiochelidon 136 
flaviscapis, Pteruthius 28-29 
flaviventris, Chlorocichla 94 

— , Prinia 91 
foersteri, Casuarius 67 
francicus, Aerodramus 79 
Francolinus pintadeanus 79 
fraseri, Anthreptes 95 

— , Neocossyphus 95 
frater, Onychognathus 60 
Fregata aquila 84 

— minor 79 
Fregetta grallaria 76-77 
Fringilla coelebs 129 
fuciphagus, Aerodramus 26 
Fulica atra 48 

fuliginosa, Schizoeaca 136-139 
fuligula, Aythya 85 
Fulmarus glacialis 84 

Fulmarus glacialoides 77 
fulvescens, Trichastoma 95 
fuscata, Sterna 79 

gallicus, Circaetus 77 
Gallinula chloropus 47, 127 

— haematopus 126 

— tenebrosa 125-127 
garrulus, Lorius 121 
Gavia immer 84, 87 

— stellata 65 
Geronticus calvus 85 
Gervaisia croiseti 87 
gigas, Hydrochous 26 
glacialis, Fulmarus 84 
glacialoides, Fulmarus 77 
Glareola maldivarum 57 

— pratincola 57 
Glaucidium perlatum 50 
glaucurus, Eurystomus 78 
goodfellowi, Eos 1 20-1 21 
grallaria, Fregetta 76-77 
griseogularis, Myioparus 95 
griseus, Passer 95 

grylle, Cepphus 85 
guildingii, Amazona 72 
guinea, Columba 62 
gularis, Egretta 78 
gunningi, Sheppardia 95 
Gygis alba 79 

haematina, Spermophaga 96 
Haematopus ostralegus 85 
haematopus, Gallinula 126 
Halcyon malimbica 94 
Halcyon mangaia, now. nov. 40 
Halcyon ruficollaris 40 

— sancta 40 
Harpactes duvaucellii 26 

— erythrocephalus 26 

— orrhophaeus 26 
Harpochris 143 
hartlaubi, Pteronetta 50 

— , Tauraco 135 
Hemispingus rufosuperciliaris 136 
hemprichii, Tockus 81-82 
hiaticula, Charadrius 129 
Himantopus himantopus 85, 87 
himantopus, Himantopus 85, 87 
Hirundo concolor 28 

— rustica 76, 129 
holosericea, Drepanoptila 3-4 
hunteri, Cisticola 115, 119 
Hydrochous 25 

— gigas 26 
Hylia prasina 95 
hyperythra, Ficedula 31 
hyperythrus, Dendrobiastes 31 
hypoleuca, Ficedula 129 
hypoxantha, Neodrepanis 144 

ibis, Bubulcus 79 
icterinus, Phyllastrephus 94 
idae, Ardeola 77, 96-97 
ignipectus, Dicaeum 32 
immer, Gavia 84, 87 
incerta, Pterodroma 77 
Indicator indicator no 

— maculatus 94 

— minor 1 09-1 10 
— ■ variegatus no 

indicator, Indicator no 
Iridosornis jelskii 136 

jambu, Ptilinopus 25 
javanica, Mirafra 92 
javensis, Batrachostomus 25 
jelskii, Iridosornis 136 
jugularis, Eulampis 7 
juncidis, Cisticola 38, 91 
Jynx torquilla 129 

kempi, Macrosphenus 95 
keysseri, Casuarius 67 

lacteus, Bubo 50 
Lagonosticta rufopicta 96 

■ — ■ senegala 96 
Laniarius aethiopicus 94 

— atrococcineus 119 

— - atroflavus 11 3-1 14, 119 

— barbarus 114, 119 

— erythrogaster 114, 119 

— luhderi 119 

— ■ mufumbiri 119 

— ruficeps 119 
Lanius collurio 77 
Larus argentatus 85 

— cirrocephalus 78-79 

— marinus 85 

— novaehollandiae 78-79 
latirostris, Andropadus 94 
layardi, Ptilinopus 3-4 
lecontei, Ceyx 94 
Leptoptilos crumeniferus 77-78 
lepturus, Phaethon 78 
lessonii, Pterodroma 77 
leucogaster, Alcedo 94 
leucolopha, Tigriornis 50 
leucophrys, Brachypteryx 29-30 
leucopogon, Prinia 95 
leucoptera, Ardea 77-78 
leucostictus, Cercotrichas 94 
leuphotes, Aviceda 90 
Limonites minutella 90 

livia, Columba 131 
livingstonii, Tauraco 135 
lobata, Biziura 85 
Lonchura punctulata 92 
Loriana 143 
Lorius 143 

Lorius garrulus 121 
Loxia curvirostra 15-19 

— pytyopsittacus 15-19 
ludwigii, Dicrurus 96 
lugubris, Surniculus 25 
luhderi, Laniarius 119 
luteovirens, Ptilinopus 3-4 
Lybius chaplini 1 09-1 10 

— melanocephalus 107-108 

— torquatus in 

macrorhynchos, Corvus 28 
macroptera, Pterodroma 77 
macrosceles, Circus 78 
Macrosphenus concolor 95 

— kempi 95 
maculatus, Indicator 94 
maillardii, Circus 78 
Maina tristoides 9 
major, Parus 129 
Malaconotus sulphureopectus 94 
maldivarum, Glareola 57 
malimbica, Halcyon 94 
mangaia, Halcyon 40 

Manura superba 86 
marinus, Larus 85 
mariquensis, Bradornis 56 
— -, Melaenornis 53-55 
masukuensis, Andropadus 94 
maximus, Aerodramus 26 
Melaenornis edolioides 95 

— mariquensis 53-55 
melanocephala, Pionites 69 
melanocephalus, Lybius 107-108 
melanophrys, Diomedea 84 
melanospila, Ptilinopus 4 
merula, Turdus 129 
Micropternus brachyurus 27 
migrans, Milvus 77-78 
Milvus migrans 77-78 

minor, Fregata 79 

— , Indicator 1 09-1 10 
minulla, Nectarinia 59 
minuta, Calidris 77 
minutella, Limonites 90 
minutus, Colymboides 65, 84, 87 
Mirafra javanica 92 

— poecilosterna in 
modularis, Prunella 83, 86, 129 
mollis, Pterodroma 77 
montanus, Parus 129 
monteiri, Tockus 82 

morio, Onychognathus 60-64 
Motacilla alba 1 29 

— cinerea 129 
mufumbiri, Laniarius 119 
Muscicapa 31 

— olivascens 95 

— sethsmithi 95 
Musophaga rossae 135 

Mycteria americana 85 
Myioparus griseogularis 95 
Myrmecocichla nigra 48 
mystacalis, Aethopyga 31 

nabouroup, Onychognathus 60 
nana, Aratinga 15 
natalensis, Cossypha 95 
nebularia, Tringa 77 
Nectarinia amethystina 59 

— batesi 59 

— bifasciata 59 

— chalybea 59 

— chloropygia 95 

— cuprea 59, 95 

— famosa 5 

— minulla 59 

— olivacea 95 

— pulchella 7 

— senegalensis 59, 78 

— sovimanga 59 

— talatala 59 

— venusta 5-7, 59 

— verticalis 95 

— violacea 6, 78 
Neocossyphus fraseri 95 

— poensis 95 
Neodrepanis hypoxantha 144 
Neophron percnopterus 76 
Nephelornis oneilli 136 
Nicator chloris 94 

nigra, Coracopsis 78 

— , Myrmecocichla 48 
nigricollis, Ploceus 95 

— , Sturnus 31 
nigriloris, Cisticola 115, 119 
Nigrita bicolor 96 

— - canicapilla 95 
nigromitratus, Trochocercus 95 
nilotica, Sterna 134 
Niltava sumatrana 31 
nisoria, Sylvia 129 
nitens, Psalidoprocne 94 
nivosa, Campethera 94 
Notiochelidon flavipes 136 
novaehollandiae, Coracina 28 

— , Larus 78-79 
Numenius arquata 77-78, 85 
Nycticorax nycticorax 85 
nycticorax, Nycticorax 85 

obscura, Psalidoprocne 94 
occidentalis, Pelecanus 84 
oceanicus, Oceanites 78 
Oceanites oceanicus 78 
Oceanodroma castro 84 
ochropus, Tringa 57 
olivacea, Nectarinia 95 
olivascens, Muscicapa 95 
oneilli, Nephelornis 136 

onocrotalus, Pelecanus 84, 87 
Onychognathus albirostris 60-61 
— - blythii 60 

— frater 60 

— morio 60-64 

— nabouroup 60 

— salvadorii 60, 64 

— tenuirostris 60-64 

— tristrami 60 

— walleri 60 
Oriolus brachyrhynchus 96 
orrhophaeus, Harpactes 26 
ostralegus, Haematopus 85 

Pachyptila desolata 77 

— vittata 77 
pacificus, Puffinus 78-79 
Palaeolodus 87 

— ambiguus 85 
palumbus, Columba 3, 131 
Parmoptila woodhousei 95 
Parus ater 129 

— caeruleus 129 

— major 129 

— montanus 129 
Passer domesticus 8 

— griseus 95 
Pastor peguanus 9 
pavonina, Balearica 89 
peguanus, Pastor 9 
Pelecanoides 86 

— urinatrix 84 
Pelecanus crispus 84 

— occidentalis 84 

— onocrotalus 84, 87 
peli, Scotopelia 49 
percnopterus, Neophron 76 
perergrinus, Falco 3 
perlatum, Glaucidium 50 
Pernis apivorus 57 

— ptylorhyncus 22-23 
persa, Tauraco 135-136 
Petrochelidon pyrrhonota 131 
Phaethon aethereus 21, 84 

— lepturus 78 

— rubricauda 79 
Phalacrocorax carbo 84 
Phedina borbonica 131 
philomelos, Turdus 129 
Phoenicopterus chilensis 85 
Phoenicurus phoenicurus 129 
phoenicurus, Amaurornis 48 

— , Phoenicurus 129 
Phyllastrephus baumanni 94 

— debilis 94 

— fischeri 94 

— icterinus 94 
Phylloscopus borealis 30 

— trochilus 129 
pintadeanus, Francolinus 79 

Pionites 72 

— melanocephala 69 
platura, Anthreptes 7 
Platysteira blissetti 95 

— castanea 95 

— concreta 95 

— cyanea 95 
Plegadis falcinellus 85 
plengei, Schizoeaca 137-139 
Ploceus 78 

— cucullatus 95 

— nigricollis 95 
Pluvialis apricaria 77 

— dominica 77 

— squatarola 77-78 
Podiceps cristatus 84 

— ruficollis 20—21 
podiceps, Podilymbus 84 
Podilymbus podiceps 84 
poecilosterna, Mirafra 11 1 
poensis, Neocossyphus 95 
Poeoptera 61 
Pogoniulus bilineatus 94 

— subsulphureus 94 
poliocephala, Alethe 94 
poliocephalus, Cuculus 25 
prasina, Hylia 95 
pratensis, Anthus 129 
pratincola, Glareola 57 
Prinia 101 

— baifdi 95 

— flaviventris 91 

— leucopogon 95 
Prionochilus thoracicus 91 
Procellaria aequinoctialis 77-78 
Prunella modularis 83, 86, 129 
Psalidoprocne nitens 94 

— ■ obscura 94 
Pterodroma incerta 77 

— lessonii 77 

— ■ macroptera 77 

— mollis 77 
Pteronetta hartlaubi 50 
Pteruthius flaviscapis 28-29 
Ptilinopus jambu 25 

— ■ layardi 3-4 

— luteovirens 3-4 

— melanospila 4 

— tannensis 4 

— victor 2, 4 
ptylorhyncus, Pernis 22-23 
Puffinus assimilis 76 

— pacificus 78-79 
pulchella, Nectarinia 7 
punctatus, Chaetodon 142 
punctulata, Lonchura 92 
Pycnonotus barbatus 94 
pygargus, Circus 78 
Pygostelis antarctica 85 
pyrrhonota, Petrochelidon 1 3 1 

Pyrrhula pyrrhula 129 
pyrrhula, Pyrrhula 129 
Pyrrhura conures 72 
pytyopsittacus, Loxia 15-19 

quadrivirgata, Cercotrichas 94 

Rallina eurizonoides 23-24 
ralloides, Ardeola 77, 96-97 
Regulus regulus 129 
regulus, Regulus 129 
Reinwardtipicus 27 
rex, Balaeniceps 84, 87 
Riparia riparia 131 
riparia, Riparia 131 
roseus, Carpodacus 44-46 
rossae, Musophaga 135 
rubecula, Erithacus 129 
rubeculoides, Cyornis 31 
rubra, Eos 120 
rubricauda, Phaethon 79 
rufescens, Trichastoma 95 
ruficapilla, Spermophaga 96 
ruficauda, Cichladusa 48 
ruficeps, Laniarius 119 
ruficollaris, Alcyone 40 

— , Halcyon 40 
ruficollis, Calidris 90 

— , Podiceps 20-21 
rufigastra, Cyornis 31 
rufipennis, Trichastoma 95 
rufitorques, Accipiter 3 
rufiventer, Terpsiphone 95 
rufocinerea, Terpsiphone 95 
rufopicta, Lagonosticta 96 
rufosuperciliaris, Hemispingus 136 
rustica, Hirundo 76, 129 
rusticolus, Scolopax 85, 87 

salvadorii, Onychognathus 60, 64 

sancta, Halcyon 40 

saturata, Aethopyga 31 

saturatus, Cuculus 25 

Saxicola torquata 90 

Schizoeaca fuliginosa 136-139 

Schizoeaca fuliginosa plengei, subsp. 

nop. 137-139 
schoeniclus, Emberiza 129 
schoenobaenus, Acrocephalus 129 
schutti, Tauraco 135 
scirpaceus, Acrocephalus 129 
sclateri, Ampelion 136 
Scolopax rusticolus 85, 87 
Scopus umbretta 84, 86 
Scotopelia peli 49 
scutulata, Cairina 88-89 
Seicercus castaniceps 25, 
Selasphorus calliope 7 
semipalmata, Anseranas 


semitorquata, Strep topelia 34-37 

senegala, Lagonosticta 96 
senegalensis, Nectarinia 59, 78 
sericocaudatus, Caprimulgus 80 
sethsmithi, Muscicapa 95 
shelleyi, Turtur 37 
Sheppardia aequatorialis 95 

— gunningi 95 
sibiricus, Uragus 46 
simplex, Chlorocichla 94 
siparaja, Aethopyga 31 
solitaris, Ficedula 31 
sovimanga, Nectarinia 59 
Spermophaga haematina 96 

— ruficapilla 96 
spilonotus, Circus 78 
spilorrhoa, Ducula 97-98 
Spreo albicapillus 58 
squamata, Eos 121 
squamigera, Uromyias 140 
squatarola, Pluvialis 77-78 
stellaris, Botaurus 84 
stellata, Gavia 65 

Sterna bergii 132-134 

— bernsteini 24 

— caspia 79, 134 

— fuscata 79 

— nilotica 134 

— sumatrana 79 

— zimmermanni 24 
Stiphrornis erythrothorax 95 
stolidus, Anous 79 
Streptopelia chinensis 8 

— semitorquata 34-37 
striatus, Butorides 77-78 

— , Colius 94 
Struthio camelus 123 
Sturnus nigricollis 31 

— vulgaris 129 
subminuta, Calidris 90 
subsulphureus, Pogoniulus 94 
Sula dactylatra 21, 79, 84 

— sula 79 
sula, Sula 79 

sulphureopectus, Malaconotus 94 
sumatrana, Niltava 31 

— ■, Sterna 79 
superba, Manura 86 
superciliaris, Abroscopus 30 
Surniculus lugubris 25 
swinderniana, Agapornis 106 
Sylvia althaea 142 

— atricapilla 129 

— borin 129 

— communis 129 

— curruca 129 

— nisoria 129 
Sylvietta virens 95 
syndactyla, Bleda 94 

tachiro, Accipiter 94 

Tadorna tadorna 89 
tadorna, Tadorna 89 
talatala, Nectarinia 59 
tannensis, Ptilinopus 4 
Tauraco corythaix 135 

— fischeri 134-136 

— hartlaubi 135 

— livingstonii 135 

— persa 135-136 

— schutti 135 
tenebrosa, Gallinula 125-127 
tenuirostris, Anous 79 

— , Onychognathus 60-64 
Terathopius ecaudatus 77-78 
Terpsiphone bourbonnensis 79 

— rufi venter 95 

— rufocinerea 95 
textrix, Cisticola 38-39 
thoracicus, Prionochilus 91 
tickelliae, Cyornis 31 
Tigriornis leucolopha 50 
Tockus alboterminatus 77 

— hemprichii 81-82 

— monteiri 82 
torda, Alca 85 
torquata, Saxicola 90 
torquatus, Celeus 40 

— , Lybius 1 1 1 
torquilla, Jynx 129 
toulou, Centropus 25, 72-75 
Trichastoma albipectus 95 

— cleaveri 95 

— fulvescens 95 

— rufescens 95 

— rufipennis 95 
trigonostigma, Dicaeum 32 
Tringa erythropus 77 

— nebularia 77 

— ochropus 57 
tristis, Acridotheres 8-13 
tristoides, Maina 9 
tristrami, Onychognathus 60 
trochilus, Phylloscopus 129 
Trochocercus cyanomelas 95 

— nigromitratus 95 
Troglodytes troglodytes 129 
troglodytes, Estrilda 96 

— , Troglodytes 129 
Turdus philomelos 129 

— merula 129 
Turtur brehmeri 94 

— erythrophrys 37 
— ■ shelleyi 37 

typica, Coracina 79 

umbretta, Scopus 84, 86 
unappendiculatus, Casuarius 66-67 
Uragus sibiricus 46 
urbica, Delichon 28, 129 
urinatrix, Pelecanoides 84 

Urolais epichlora 99-101 
Uromyias agilis 141 

— agraphia 136, 1 40-1 41 
Uromyias agraphia squamigera, subsp. 

nov. 140 

validus, Chrysocolaptes 27 
Vanellus cinereus 80 

— vanellus 80 
vanellus, Vanellus 80 
variegatus, Indicator no 
venusta, Nectarinia 5-7, 59 
verticalis, Nectarinia 95 
victor, Ptilinopus 2, 4 

viduata, Dendrocygna 78, 85, 87 
violacea, Nectarinia 6, 78 
virens, Andropadus 94 

— , Sylvietta 95 
viridis, Calyptomena 27-28 
vittata, Pachyptila 77 
vulgaris, Sturnus 129 
vulturinum, Acryllium 77 

walleri, Onychognathus 60 
whitei, Cyornis 31 
woodhousei, Parmoptila 95 

zimmermanni, Sterna 24 


p. 76, line 47: 'chrysostomd, not l chrysostomus' 

p. 78, line 26: 'striafus', not 'triatus' 

p. 79, line 1 : 'francicus', not 'francicaus' 

p. 84, line 2 (caption) : 'Diomeded, not 'Diomedid 

p. 84, line 6 (caption): 'aethereus', not 'aethureus' 

p. 85, line 2 (caption): 'Dissourd, not 'Dissourid 

p. 94, line 25 : 'Psalidoprocne', not 'Psalidoprogne' 

p. 94, lines 29, 31, 33, 35: ' ' A.ndropadus\ not 'Andropadis' 

p. 94, line 3 5 : 'masukuensis', not 'masukuensis' 

p. 94, line 40: 'calurus', not 'caluras' 

p. 94, line 46: 'fischeri', not 'fisheri' 

p. 94, line 5 5 : ' Malaconotus' , not ' ' Malconotus' 

p. 95, line 4: 'cyanocampter', not ' ' cyanocompter' 

p. 95, line 7: ' ' aequatorialis' , not 'aequitorialis' 

p. 95, line 36: 'edolioides', not 'edoloides' 

p. 95, line 55: 'olivaced, not 'olivacid 

p. 115, line 10: 'nigriloris', not 'nigricolis' 

p. 118, line 1: 'discolor', not 'discolour' 

p. 119, line 9: 'nigriloris', not 'nigricolis' 

p. 119, line 29: ' mufumbiri' , not 'mufumberi' 

p. 129, line 39: 'Carduelis', not 'Cardeulis' 

p. 134, line 37: 'fischeri', not 'fischceri' 




The Coxton & Holmesdale Press, Sevenoaks 


/ i 

Bulletin of the 


British Ornithologists' Club 

Ed/ted by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 96 No. 1 

March 1976 

The Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held in the Senior Common Room, 
South Side, Imperial College, Prince's Gardens, London S.W.7 at 5.45 p.m. on Tuesday 
4 May 1976. - ■'-""'•" 


1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting. 

2. Report of the Committee and Accounts for 1 975 . 

3. The Bulletin. 

4. Election of Officers : — 

(a) The Committee proposes that Mr. M. St. J. Sugg, m.a., be re-elected Honorary 

(b) The Committee proposes that Mr. R. E. F. Peal be re-elected Honorary Secretary. 

(c) The Committee proposes Dr. G. Beven, m.d., to serve on the Committee vice 
Mr. J. H. R. Boswall, who retires by rotation. 

5. Any other business of which notice shall have been given in accordance with Rule (7). 

By Order of the Committee, 


Honorary Secretary. 

Forthcoming Meetings: 

Tuesday, 4 May 1976 at 6.15 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. dinner (seven hundredth meeting of the 
Club). In the Senior Common Room, South Side, Imperial College, South Kensington 
(entrance Prince's Gardens, S.W.7, °^ Exhibition Road and N. of Victoria and Albert 
Museum); a short symposium on African birds, speakers Mrs. B. P. Hall, Sir Hugh Elliott, 
Bt., o.b.e., and Mr. C. W. Benson, o.b.e. Cheques for the cost of dinner (£2-95 a head) 
must be sent to the Hon. Secretary before the meeting. Please note this meeting starts earlier 
than usual. 

Tuesday, 20 July, 1976 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, 
London W.i. Mr. Robert Gillmor will speak on Bird Illustration. 
Tuesday, 21 September, 1976. Speaker to be arranged. 
Tuesday, 16 November, 1976. Dr. H. N. Southern will speak on the Tawny Owl. 


J. H. Elgood {Chairman) P. Hogg {Vice-Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) M. St. J. Sugg {Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk {Editor) J. H. R. Boswall 

Mrs. J. D. Bradley Dr. C. J. O. Harrison 

C. E. Wheeler 

{Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol.96 No. 1 Published: 20 March, 1976 


The past year has been marked by escalating costs due to raging inflation. 
Postage rates for the Bulletin rose 83% and there was a very heavy increase 
in the price of dinners, whilst the charge for printing the Bulletin rose by 
i2^% at the beginning of 1975. 

There were 20 new members in the year but there were eight resignations 
and nine members were struck off under Rule (4). The Committee much 
regrets to report the deaths of three members : F. A. Bak, Lord Hurcomb, 
g.c.b., k.b.e., and Captain C. R. S. Pitman, c.b.e., d.s.o., m.c. (Vice-Chairman 
1956-59, Chairman 1959-62). There were eight new non-member subscribers 
to the Bulletin. At the end of the year there were 252 members and 126 non- 
member subscribers who were up to date with their subscriptions; these 
together show a slight increase on the corresponding figures at the beginning 
of the year and are highly satisfactory bearing in mind the increase in sub- 
scription rates, which came into force for 1975. 

The attendances at meetings totalled 168, a reduction on the three previous 
years, almost certainly attributable to rising prices. Meetings were held at the 
Cafe Royal in January, March and May, but in the middle of the year we were 
informed of an increase approaching 50% in the cost of dinners. We were 
fortunate in being able to hold our July, September and November meetings 
in the Senior Common Room at Imperial College, South Kensington, where 
the catering and facilities proved excellent; in July there was a buffet supper 
and at the other meetings dinner of equally good character. The first two 
meetings in 1976 have been arranged to take place at the Goat Tavern in 
Stafford Street, Mayfair, where less expensive fare is available, but where 
numbers are limited to 40 by space. We would welcome, at the Annual 
General Meeting, or by letter, the comment of members upon venues for 
meetings, bearing prices of meals and private rooms in mind. 

The size of the Bulletin was maintained under the eminent editorship of Sir 
Hugh Elliott, whose term of office concluded at the end of the year. News 
was received of an increase of about 5 o % in charges for printing the Bulletin 
and 7% in postage rates from January 1976. In view of this it was decided 
slightly to reduce the size of the Bulletin in 1976 ; however smaller type will be 
used if the supply of papers justifies publication of a greater amount of 
material than could otherwise be included. 

The audited accounts for 1975, which are not yet available, will be tabled 

at the Annual General Meeting and published in a later number of the 


* * * 

The six hundred and ninety-eighth meeting of the Club was held at the Goat 
Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, London, W.i, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 20 January, 

Chairman: Mr. P. Hogg: present 17 members and 13 guests. 

Dr. Kear has kindly sent the following precis of her talk. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 2 

Zoos are here to stay — their popularity can be gauged from the fact that 
150 million people visit annually the 500 zoos and aquaria listed in the Inter- 
national Zoo Yearbook. They provide mainly leisure and education, but 
zoos ought also to have important roles in biological research and in con- 

It is fashionable to say, of zoos' conservation role, that they can act as 
reservoirs of species threatened with extinction in the wild. In the event of 
extinction, the suggestion goes, captive-bred animals can be reintroduced 
into the natural habitat. Examples where reintroductions have been success- 
ful (defined as third generation individuals being produced and the "new" 
population being self-sustaining in the wild) are, of course, extremely few — 
it's a novel concept, and there hasn't been much time. 

Zoos are only just beginning to realise and combat the problems of breed- 
ing, for generation after generation, a species of which only a few captive 
individuals remain. Problems include the adaptation to abnormal diets and 
breeding seasons, loss of fear of predators including man, a lowering of 
natural levels of aggression, the bringing together of many deleterious recessive 
genes, and the lack of immunity to a variety of diseases. 

Perhaps a surer conservation role for zoos involves their undoubted 
research and education facilities. They can often obtain, with ease, facts that 
are indispensible to the field worker; for example, gestation or incubation 
periods, oestrus cycles, indicators of maturity, and bones of known age. They 
can also interpret the field workers' findings to the public, who will then be 
able to see, and appreciate, the animals whose conservation they increasingly 
are asked to support. Thus zoos may, by acting as "honey pots" and drawing 
large numbers of humans away from the fragile wilderness, help to preserve 
the security of the habitats on which every species ultimately depends. 

Good zoos whose ultimate goal is to exhibit, in natural surroundings, 
individuals that are, almost without exception, captive-bred, and exploit 
animals only to the extent that they can provide pleasurable interest, edu- 
cation and scientifically useful knowledge, need support. The large scale 
capture of wild creatures for exhibition at a profit, is an activity that many 
will regard with distaste. 

Comments on the nesting and plumage of the 
Orange Dove Ptilinopus victor 

by Ronald I. Or en stein and Murray D. Bruce 

Received 10 November 197 J 

On 1 7 June 1 974, the authors discovered a nest of the Orange Dove Ptilin- 
opus victor at approximately 490 m elevation in forest on the Waitavala estate 
near Waiyevo, Taveuni, Fiji. The nest was 2-5 m up in a small (subcanopy) 
tree, about 1 • 5 m from the trunk on a horizontal branch. Its structure was 
extremely flimsy: a platform of twigs approximately 10 cm across and 1 • 5 cm 
thick, with some sticks protruding several centimetres further out. The 
network was so loose that a finger could have been inserted through the 
bottom of the nest in several places. When discovered, the female bird was 
sitting; indeed, her departure drew our attention to the nest. There was a 
single rather large nestling, showing only the beginnings of fledging — the 

3 [Bull. B.O.C, 1976: 96(1)] 

wing quills just starting, the dorsal feather tracts outlined with sheathed 
feathers on the back and to a lesser degree on the head. 

In the only previously published account of nesting in this species, Layard 
(1876) reported breeding from November to December, and described the 
clutch size as two. However, it is not clear from his account whether or not 
Layard himself ever actually found a nest. Goodwin (1970: 377) pointed out 
that this clutch size of two reported by Layard differs from the single-egg 
clutch of other Ptilinopus species for which information is available, but 
agrees with that of the Cloven-feathered Dove Drepanoptila holosericea of New 
Caledonia. Our finding of a single nestling, however, suggests that the Orange 
Dove may have the typical clutch size of the genus. It seems unlikely that any 
nest predator would have removed one chick and left the other, although 
Goodwin {in lift.) points out that he has on rare occasions found nests of 
the Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus with but a single chick though the clutch 
size of this species is almost invariably two. There is no nesting information 
for the Golden Dove P. luteovirens and the Velvet Dove P. layardi (Goodwin 
1970: 378-9), the other two members of the superspecies P. luteovirens (once 
considered to constitute the genus Chrysoenas Hartlaub (1 8 5 4) (not Chrysoena) 1 ). 
Confirmation of our recorded single-egg clutch is desirable. 

The male Orange Dove is the most vividly coloured of its family, its 
brilliance being matched by few other birds. Further, its pattern is most 
unusual for the genus Ptilinopus. Nearly all fruit doves are brightly coloured 
but most of them are largely green, other colours being confined to the head 
or underparts or both. This pattern allows the birds to be most inconspicuous, 
particularly to an overhead avian predator (Orenstein 1973). The absence of 
such a pattern in the Orange Dove would not be so puzzling if hawks were 
absent on Fiji. However, the Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques, Swamp 
Harrier Circus approximans and Peregrine Falco peregrinus occur on Taveuni. 
The Goshawk was particularly common in the Waiyevo area (Orenstein & 
Bruce, MS). It would thus seem that the brilliant orange body of the male 
dove would render it an obvious target for these predators, especially since 
it is largely a bird of the canopy. However, we noted that in the field the dull 
green head blends into the foliage, while the rounded orange object re- 
remaining (the body) resembled one of the large dead leaves scattered through 
the forest canopy. When viewed from below at least, it was easy to pass the 
dove by as just such a leaf, a fact also noted by Layard. Whether this would 
be the case from above, where the leaves are viewed by reflected rather than 
transmitted light and may not appear as orange, is difficult to say. However, 
our observation does suggest that a pattern such as that of the Orange Dove 
may not be incompatible with a need for camouflage, though the striking 
sexual dimorphism of this species, with the female plumage replacing the 
orange with green — unusual in the genus Ptilinopus — suggests that the orange 
of the male may still render it more liable to predation than would a less 
striking body colour. It would be valuable to learn the details of the court- 
ship and mating system in this species. 

1 The use of the name Chrysoena Bonaparte (1854: 871, 879), not "Chrysaena" Bonaparte 
(1855: 28 — not 1857, cf. Zimmer 1926: 69), follows Peters (1938). However, Bonaparte's 
name of 1854 (6 November) is predated by Chrysoenas Hartlaub (18 54: 166; "before August", 
cf. Mathews 1927: 42). Both names originated from Bonaparte's usage, and he intended 
Chrysoena to replace Chrysoenas (used by him in correspondence, although Hartlaub's 
adoption of this name precedes the formal proposal of Chrysoena by Bonaparte). Mathews 
chose to use Chrysoenas, and if the Fijian doves are recognised as a distinct subgenus, this 
name should be adopted. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 4 

The explanation proposed above may also apply to patterns in other 
Ptilinopus species, such as the Golden Dove of Viti Levu which also has the 
body colour brighter than that of the head. The Velvet Dove of Kadavu has 
a yellow head contrasting with a green body, while several other species {e.g. 
the Black-naped Fruit Dove P. melanospild) also have a colourful head con- 
trasting with a largely green body. In all these birds the total effect may well 
be disruptive, with either the body or the head resembling a leaf, flower or 
fruit separate from the rest of the bird, which is coloured to blend into the 
background. Whether the body or the head appears more conspicuous 
seems unimportant from a taxonomic point of view ; both variations occur 
within the "Chrysoenas" group. 

A further conclusion from this discussion is that the presumably adaptive 
nature of these patterns renders them highly likely to have evolved more than 
once, and hence of little use in determining relationships. Thus, Mayr (1940) 
apparently considered the Silver-shouldered Fruit Dove P. tannensis of the 
New Hebrides to be the nearest relative of "Chrysoenas", presumably because 
of its resemblance in plumage pattern to P. layardi. Observations by the 
junior author on the New Hebrides and New Caledonia, however, indicate 
that P. tannensis resembles P. luteovirens and P. victor, the two species of this 
group which we have observed, less than does the quite differently patterned 
Cloven-feathered Dove Drepanoptila holosericea (Bruce, MS). The "crest" of 
the latter species resembles closely the high, domed foreheads of the Fijian 
birds. The chunky, rounded body shape of these birds is quite different from 
the more slender appearance of P. tannensis. The Fijian doves, indeed, may 
be quite close to Drepanoptila (whether or not they have a similar clutch size), 
and, with it, may represent relict survivors of an early wave of colonisation 
by Ptilinopus stock into the Pacific area (cf. Amadon 1943). 

We are grateful to Max Ohlsson of Burns Philp (Fiji) Pty. Ltd. for his kindness and 
assistance in providing accommodation on the Waitavala estates. Derek Goodwin of the 
British Museum (Natural History) kindly commented on our nesting information. Dr. 
Robert W. Storer of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, criticised the 

References : 

Amadon, D. 1943. Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition, 52. Notes on 

some non-passerine genera, 3. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1237: 1-22. 
Bonaparte, C. L. 1854. Coup d'oeil sur l'ordre des Pigeons. Compt. Rend. Acad. Set., Paris 

39: 869-880. 
— 1855. Conspectus Generum Avium 2 : 1-232. Lugduni Batavorum : E. J. Brill. 
Bruce, M. D. MS. Bird notes from New Caledonia and New Hebrides. 
Goodwin, D. 1970. Pigeons and Doves of the World. 2nd ed. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 
Hartlaub, G. 1854. Zur Ornithologie Oceanien's. Journ. f. Orn. 2: 160-171. 
Layard, E. L. 1876. Notes on some little-known birds of the new colony of the Fiji Islands. 

Ibis {*,) 6: 137-152. 
Mathews, G. M. 1927. Sy sterna Avium Australasianarum. Part 1: 1-426. London: BOU. 
Mayr, E. 1940. The origin and the history of the bird fauna of Polynesia. Proc. 6th Pac. Sci. 

Congr. (1939)4: 197-216. 
Orenstein, R. I. 1973. Colourful plumage in tropical birds. Avicult. Mag. 79: 1 19-122. 
Orenstein, R. I. & Bruce, M. D. MS. Notes on the birds of Taveuni, Fiji Islands. 
Peters, J. L. 1938. Generic limits of some fruit pigeons. Proc. 8th Int. Ornith. Congr. (1934): 

Zimmer, J. T. 1926. Catalogue of the Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library. Part 1. 

Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. 16: x -f- 364 pp. 

5 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Notes on a nesting female Variable Sunbird 

Nectarinia venusta 
by R. A. Cheke 

Received 29 November iyjj 

As examples of ecological equivalence, sunbirds (Nectariniidae) are often 
compared with hummingbirds (Trochilidae). In both groups the amount of 
time spent foraging for food varies between 10% and 35 % of daylight, al- 
though small changes in the volume of nectar available per flower can produce 
major changes in birds' partitioning of time (Wolf et al. 1975). Compared with 
hummingbirds under equivalent conditions, sunbirds have greater energy 
requirements but lower foraging costs, partly due to the hovering habit of 
hummingbirds in front of their food plants, in contrast to sunbirds which, 
with some exceptions (Williams 195 1, Coe 1961, Broekhuysen 1963, Cheke 
1971a), perch while feeding. The similarity in time budgets of the two groups 
appears to be the result of a balance between these two factors. The com- 
plexity of sunbird energetics has been emphasised by the observation that 
one of two male Malachite Sunbirds Nectarinia famosa studied by Wolf (1975) 
regularly took in less energy, in terms of the calorific value of the nectar it 
consumed, than it expended. This result implies that supplementary energy 
provided by the bird's invertebrate diet or possible savings of energy by 
regulated nocturnal hypothermia, which occurs in Malachite Sunbirds at high 
altitudes (Cheke 1971b), are of considerable importance. Since there are few 
accounts of the activities of nesting sunbirds the following data obtained in 
July 1974 on the behaviour of a female Variable Sunbird N. venusta, nesting 
at sea-level in an equitable environment, may be of interest for comparative 
purposes in nectarivorous species. 

The data may be somewhat atypical owing to the protected nature of the 
nest-site, which was studied during a brief, but crucial, part of the nesting 
cycle, inside a bungalow at sea level at Tiwi beach, 20 km S.W. of Mombasa, 
Kenya. The house had been empty for some weeks permitting the bird, 
which entered through gaps between the corrugated iron roof and the top of 
a wall, to construct its nest undisturbed. The nest incorporated some string 
hanging from a thick wire, intended for holding up mosquito nets, which 
was suspended from a roof beam. The main body of the nest was 17-5 cm 
from top to base, with pieces of grass and leaves straggling 17 cm below it. 
Its base was 183 cm from the floor and its top was 45 cm below the beam. 
The oval entrance hole to the nest chamber was 4 cm in height, 2 • 7 cm wide 
and its base was 3 • 8 cm above the base of the nest. The rear of the chamber 
itself was 4 • 7 cm inside the nest, which was 6 • 5 cm wide at its broadest. This 
type of nest structure, pear-shaped and typical of sunbirds, clearly provides 
more protection for the young than the open nests characteristic of humming- 
birds. The entrance hole faced into the room, away from the window which 
was covered with a wire grill of 5 cm square mesh. When this window was 
open the bird returned to the nest through it, pausing on the wire mesh on 
its way, but it always departed in the opposite direction via one of its exit 
holes underneath the roof. 

The nest was first seen on arrival at the house on the evening of 24 July 
1974, after dusk. The sitting bird was disturbed as little as possible and, 
despite occasional electric lighting and human occupation of the room, she 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 6 

remained in the nest until the next morning when it was found that she was 
incubating two eggs. These measured approximately 1 • 6 x 1 • o cm and were 
heavily mottled with dark brown on a paler brown background, the mottling 
being most dense at the wider ends of the eggs. 

When returning to incubate after a foraging session, the bird hovered 
briefly in front of the nest, perching on it below the entrance hole before 
entering and turning around to settle on the eggs. Two eggs remained 
throughout 25 and 26 July but at 10.05 nrs « on 2 7 July the bird was moving 
excitedly within the nest before flying away and returning five minutes later. 
During this interval the nest was examined revealing that one egg had 
hatched. At 10.10 hrs. when the bird returned she perched as usual below the 
entrance hole but instead of then entering the nest at once she remained 
probing into the hole with her bill for 2 minutes 25 seconds. This behaviour 
was noted twice more, when only one young had hatched, for periods of 
1 minute 35 seconds and for 2 minutes 40 seconds. Later that morning some 
high-pitched squeaking, presumably from the chick, was heard and the adult 
stood up inside the nest and, probing beneath her, also piped but at a higher 
frequency. The second egg had still failed to hatch by 18.05 nrs « on 2 7 Jvily. 
When at 07.25 hrs. on the following day the adult returned to the nest, she 
paused briefly at the entrance hole before entering, making piping noises 
(described in notes as "tseep, did-dee-did, oh, oh*'). After entering and turn- 
ing around she then uttered, with her head protruding from the entrance 
hole, a sub-song described as "did, dee, did, da, deee, dee, dee didyou". This 
was followed by chirps, interspersed with high-pitched piping from the 
young which continued for 25 minutes. After this active and noisy brooding 
session the adult departed at 08.00 hrs. and the nest was then found to contain 
two young. Later that day the adult attended to the young continuously from 
outside the nest for 3 minutes 10 seconds, the longest such session recorded. 
At 09.30 hrs. egg shells were found beneath the nest. 

After a hypothermic night, and at high altitudes, hummingbirds have been 
recorded to leave their nests as much as 20 minutes before sunrise on clear 
days (Calder & Booser 1973) and Broekhuysen (1963) records that the 
Orange-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia violacea departs from its nest from 6 to 
32 minutes before sunrise. Although dawn was at 06.00 hrs., the Variable 
Sunbird did not leave the nest before 06.55, 06.45 an d 06.43 nrs « on 2 ^> 2 7 
and 29 July respectively. Similarly, with dusk at 19.00 hrs., the bird remained 
in the nest after 17.50, 18.21 and 18.35 hrs. on 25, 27 and 28 July. 

The times for sessions of incubation or brooding and for absences from 
the nest by the female TV. venusta are given in Table 1 . Table 2 contains details 
of five continuous observation periods, of brooding sessions, only two of 
which were of any length. 

Incubation and brooding sessions and intervals of absence from the nest of a female 
Variable Sunbird Nectarinia venusta according to nest contents. 

Incubation or Intervals of absence 

Nest contents brooding sessions from the nest 

{minutes) {minutes) 

Mean Range Alean Range 

Two eggs — 5-70 29-5 10-50 

One egg and one chick 11 -8 5-35 8-5 4-16 

Two chicks 12-7 1-39 9-9 3-17 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


Brooding sessions of female Variable Sunbird Nectarinia venusta during periods of con- 
tinuous observation with known nest contents. 

Nest Date Observation No. of Brooding Mean % time Time 

contents time brooding sessions brooding brooding brooding 

sessions per hour time per per hour 



One egg and 
one chick 
Two chicks 

27 July 

28 July 

1000 — 
0800 — 

Two chicks 

28 July 


Two chicks 
Two chicks 

28 July 

29 July 


















3 T - 






The Variable Sunbird, like the Orange-breasted Sunbird (Broekhuysen 
1963), in general tends to be absent for longer periods and to remain on the 
nest for longer sessions than hummingbirds (Orr 1939, Calder 1971, Wolf 
& Wolf 1 97 1, Snow 1974, Smith et al. 1974). Since female Variable Sunbirds 
weigh 5 • 3 i 0-3 g (Fry 1970) and the conditions for breeding were good, 
this is not surprising in comparison with hummingbirds such as Anna's 
Hummingbird Calypte anna (body- weight 3-4 — 5-8 g) and the Calliope 
Hummingbird Selasphorus calliope (body-weight 2-6 — 3-4 g) studied 
at high altitudes (see Calder 1971, Smith et al. 1974); but it is also true of the 
larger Purple-throated Carib Hummingbird Eulampis jugularis (body-weight 
7*9 ± o* 4 g — Hainsworth & Wolf 1970) studied by Wolf & Wolf (197 1). 

No male Variable Sunbird was seen either near the nest or with the female. 
However, little significance can be attached to this since there is often a time- 
lag between the hatching of the young and any male partner, if present, 
learning of this fact. Skinner (1969) records that both sexes of the Pygmy 
Long-tailed Sunbird Anthreptes platura feed their nestlings, but it is the 
female which broods them at night, entering the nest at sunset (18.15 hrs.) 
and leaving after 07.30 hrs., in northern Nigeria. The variability of the in- 
cubation behaviour of sunbirds under different environmental conditions is 
emphasised by the Beautiful Long-tailed Sunbird N. pulchella which sits on 
its eggs very little or not at all during daytime in the intense heat of the West 
African sahel (Koenig 1956). 

References : 

Broekhuysen, G. J. 1963. The breeding biology of the Orange-breasted Sunbird Antho- 

baphes violacea (Linneaus). Ostrich 34: 187-234. 
Calder, W. A. 1971. Temperature relationships and nesting of the Calliope Hummingbird. 

Condor 73 : 314-321. 
Calder, W. A. & Booser, J. 1973. Hypothermia of Broad-tailed Hummingbirds during 

incubation in nature with ecological correlations. Science 180: 751-753. 
Cheke, R. A. 1971a. Feeding ecology and significance of interspecific territoriality of African 

montane sunbirds (Nectariniidae). Revue Zoo I. Bot. afr. 84: 50-64. 
— 1971b. Temperature rhythms in African montane sunbirds. Ibis 113 : 500-506. 
Coe, M. J. 1961. Notes on Nectarinia johnstonijohnstoni on Mt. Kenya. Ostrich 32: 101-103. 
Fry, C. H. 1970. Migration, moult and weights of birds in Northern Guinea savanna in 

Nigeria and Ghana. Ostrich Suppl. 8: 239-263. 
Hainsworth, F. R. & Wolf, L. L. 1970. Regulation of oxygen consumption and body 

temperature during torpor in a hummingbird, Eulampis jugularis . Science 168: 368-369. 
Koenig, L. 1956. Zum vorkommen einiger Sprinte zwischen Tessabit und Niamey (Fran- 

zosich-West Africa). Journ. f. Ornithol. 97: 384-402. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 8 

Off, R. T. 1939. Observations on the nesting of the Allen Hummingbird. Condor 41 : 17-24. 
Skinner, N. J. 1969. Notes on the breeding of the Pygmy Long-tailed Sunbird Hedydipna 

platura at Zaria. Bull. Niger. Orn. Soc. 6: 124-126. 
Smith, R. K., Roberts, S. W. & Miller, P. C. 1974. Calculating the nocturnal energy 

expenditure of an incubating Anna's Hummingbird. Condor 76: 176-183. 
Snow, B. K. 1974. Lek behaviour and breeding of Guy's Hermit Hummingbird Phaeth- 

ornis guy. Ibis 116: 278-297. 
Williams, J. G. 195 1. Nectarinia johnstoni : a revision of the species, together with data on 

plumages, moults and habits. Ibis 93: 579-595. 
Wolf, L. L. 1975. Energy intake and expenditures in a nectar-eating sunbird. Ecology 56: 

Wolf, L. L., Hainsworth, F. R. & Gill, F. B. 1975. Foraging efficiences and time budgets in 

nectar-feeding birds. Ecology 5 6 : 1 17-128. 
Wolf, L. L. & Wolf, J. S. 1971. Nesting of the Purple-throated Carib Hummingbird. Ibis 

113: 306-315- 

Morphological notes on Acridotheres tristis in Natal 

by R. K. Brooke 

Received 3 November 19JJ 

The Indian Myna Acridotheres tristis was introduced into Durban, Natal, 
South Africa, about 1900 (Kent 1927) and it was then believed that the 
introduction was due to a consignment of these birds shipped to an animal 
dealer in Durban escaping and establishing themselves prior to spreading 
naturally over much of Natal (Calder 1953). It is known that the House 
Sparrow Passer domesticus can produce the characters of new subspecies in 
well under a hundred years on introduction to new countries (Johnston & 
Selander 1964 on North America, Harwin & Irwin 1966 on southern Africa). 
The Asiatic Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis introduced about a hundred 
years ago into southern Australia now has substantially longer tarsi than any 
Asiatic population (Frith & McKean 1975) though the actual figures are 
uncertain since those given in their Table 6 appear to have been multiplied 
by 10. That this does not happen to all birds was shown by Niethammer 
(1971) in respect of some west Palaearctic species introduced about a hundred 
years ago into New Zealand. 

Having now assembled a substantial panel of Natal-taken specimens at the 
Durban Museum it was decided to investigate whether Natal A. tristis had 
differentiated from those of Asia. For this purpose adult Asiatic birds were 
borrowed from the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, and 
the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. 

Two forms of A. tristis have long been recognized (see Sharpe 1890, 
Hartert 1932, Vaurie 1959, Amadon 1962, Ali & Ripley 1972), namely A. t. 
tristis (Linnaeus) 1766, Syst. Nat., ed. 12, 1 : 167 (Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, 
India) throughout continental Asia and A. t. melanosternus Legge, 1879, Ann. 
Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 5, 3: 168 (Sri Lanka) in Sri Lanka. All populations 
introduced elsewhere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, are attributed to 
the nominate race (Benson i960, Amadon 1962). The accepted arrangement 
of natural Asiatic populations must be considered before it is possible to 
assess local differentiation in Natal tristis. Of the discreteness of melanosternus 
there is no doubt. But the material examined of nominate tristis shows it to 
be composite. Birds from peninsular India are paler and duller below and less 
reddish on the back than birds from Burma and Nepal. This may be expressed 
more accurately in the capitalized colour nomenclature of Ridgway (191 2) as 

9 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

upper abdomen Avellaneous in India, Verona Brown in Burma; throat and 
breast Deep Mouse Gray in India, Dark Mouse Gray in Burma; back pale 
Prout's Brown in India, dark Snuff Brown in Burma. Plate X(4) in Smythies 
C 1 95 3) gives a good idea of the dark, rich colouring of Burmese birds. The 
four birds seen from China and Thailand are slightly darker than those of 
peninsular India but are closer to them in colour than they are to those of 
Burma and Nepal. 

There are two names available for the birds of Burma and Nepal (Sharpe 
1890, Hartert 1932): Pastor peguanus Lesson, 1831, Trait'e Orn. 1 : 404, Pegu, 
southern Burma, and Maina tristoides Hodgson, 1836, Journ. Asiat. Soc. 
Bengal 5 : 771, Nepal. Through the kindness of Dr. Ben King of the American 
Museum of Natural History I have received photocopies of both proposals. 
I agree with Sharpe (1890) that Lesson's name is indeterminate since it is not 
clearly a description of A. tristis or any other known bird. I therefore 
propose that A. t. tristoides (Hodgson), 1836, be recognized as the sub- 
specific name of populations in central and northern Burma and Nepal, and 
also of those introduced populations overseas which are indistinguishable in 
colour and which may well have been derived from stocks trapped in Burma 
for the overseas bird trade. 


Mensural data (mm and g) on Acridotheres tristis 
A. t. melanosternus (Sri Lanka) 

Ad. St Ad. £$ 

\e Range Average 



26-28 (4) 26-8 


140, 143 
143-149 (5) 1 

132-140 (4)i35-5 


82-96 (5)1 

74-82 (4) 78-5 
76-82 (3)1 


17, 19 

12-16 (4) 14-0 


A. t. tristis (India and China) 

Ad. and immature <$<$ 

Ad. and immature $$ 

Range Average 


Range Average 



24-28 (9) 26-1 

1 -i 

24-27 (6) 26-0 

1 -i 


134-147 (9) I39'9 
138-153 1 
i33-i 49 2 (i6) 144-6 


133-143 (6) 139-2 
138-147 1 
I3i-i43 a (2i) 136-4 



77-91 (8) 82-8 
8I-95 1 


78-88 (5) 82-6 



13-21 (8) 17. 1 



sexes together 

13-16 (6) 14-5 

1 -i 

Wing 130-140 (16) 

Delacour & Jabouille (1931) 


Hartert (1932) 

Tail 83-90 



Weight 82-138 (20) 1 

Localities India. 

Awjar (Baroda, Gujerat), Bhachau (Kutch, Gujerat), Gorakhpur (U.P.), 
Hoshiarpur (Punjab), Jamwala (Junagadh, Gujerat), Kanchraparai (Bengal), 
Khuri (Sunguja), Lake Khurjar (Sind, Pakistan), Lucknow (U.P.), Nichlaul 
(U.P.), Mudumalai (Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu). 


Chienchuan (Yunnan) at 2440 m a.s.l., Ndamucho (Yunnan) at 4270 m a.s.l., 
Youngning Mts. (Yunnan) at c. 3810 m a.s.l. in Nov. or Dec. 1928. 

Pak Chong. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

A. t. tristoides (central and northern Burma and Nepal) 
Ad. and immature $<$ 
Range Average S.D. 





Culmen 25-0-27-5 (5) 26-3 i-o 

Wing I33-H5 (5) 139* 6 4' 5 

Tail 80-88 (5) 83-4 3-2 

Crest 17-18 (5) 17-2 0-5 14, 14 

Localities Mandalay, Sittwe (Arakan), Thankote (Nepal). 


A. t. tristoides (St. Helena) 

Ad. 6* Culmen 29, Wing 149, Tail 89, Crest 17 

Ad. $ Culmen 26, Wing 140, Tail 91, Crest 12 


A. t. tristoides (Natal, South Africa) 

Range Average S.D. Range 







(10) 27-6 



(13) 26-7 

I -2 



(12) 139:9 



(12) 135-1 




(11) 83-8 



(8) 80 -o 




(12) 15-9 

I -2 


(13) 14-9 





Imm. <$<S 


Imm. $$ 




(10) 28-1 



(12) 26-8 




(10) 139-7 







(7) 79-4 



(8) 77-3 




(10) 15-1 

2- I 


(12) 14-0 




(4) 125-3 

1 02-1 16 

(3) iii-o 

Ad. amd imm. <$<$ 

Ad. and imm. ?$ 



(20) 27-9 



(25) 26-8 




(22) 139-8 



(23) 134-1 




(18) 82-1 



(16) 78-6 




(22) 15-5 



(25) 14-4 




Juvenal Jo* 



(8) 109-5 





(9) 25-8 



(3) 27-0 



(9) 130-8 






(6) 66-8 



(3) 63-5 

Juvenals of both sexes 



(14) 26-1 




(14) 130-0 




(9) 66-2 


Eggs Natal 




(16) 29-4 X 21 





Soviet 2 



(16) 30-1-21 -6 

Indian 2 



(100) 30-8 X 2 




Camperdown, Durban, Inanda, Marianhill, Pietermaritzburg, 


Umhlanga Rocks. 
x Ali & Ripley (1972) 
2 Dement'ev & Gladkov (1970) 

Culmens have been measured from the skull. 

The crest is the length of the feathers in the second last row of elongated, 

lanceolate feathers on the occiput. 

ii [Bull.B.O.C. 19 76: 96(1)1 

The first point that emerges from study of the Natal birds is that nearly all 
of those in fresh plumage are the darker, more richly coloured tristoides and 
that very few resemble nominate tristis. I conclude that the trade consign- 
ment sent to Durban was composite but that the majority of the birds were 
tristoides and that this is the subspecific name that should be applied. I would 
add that of 21 Natal adults and immatures (not juvenals) in fresh plumage all 
eight from Pietermaritzburg in the less humid interior are tristoides and that 
it is only among the specimens from the humid coastal regions that three 
birds resembling nominate tristis have been found. 

The three specimens seen from the island of St. Helena are clearly tristoides. 

I am told by a friend who recently visited the Seychelles archipelago that 
the A. tristis there are clearly duller in appearance than those he is accustomed 
to seeing in Durban, i.e. the stock there is nominate tristis. 

The linear measurements of A. tristis are unusually variable for a bird of 
its size (Table 1), the tail length in particular. The wing lengths (Table ib) 
are longer in Soviet birds than in Indochinese birds : but only the examina- 
tion of large series will clarify the extent of geographical and sexual variation 
in linear measurements. Naik & Naik (1969) deny that there is sexual 
dimorphism in wing and tail measurements after examining 1 1 2 specially 
collected birds from Gujerat, India, but they do not give figures to support 
their statement. However, Natal females (Table ie) are highly significantly 
shorter winged than males : a "t" test on the means for adults and immatures 
taken together gives a value of 5 • 88, P < -ooi. A similar test on tail length 
gives 2- 39 which is just significant, P < -05. The figures for the culmen are 
2-82, P< -oi; for the crest 2-2i, P < -05 ; for weight 3 • 31, P < • 01. Thus 
Natal females are generally lighter than males and smaller, particularly in 
wing length. Culmens have been measured from the skull. The crest is the 
length of the feathers in the second last row of elongated, lanceolate feathers 
on the occiput. 

Some differences between adults and juvenals of Natal Acridotheres tristis tristoides 
(see also measurements in Table iE) 
Adult Juvenal 

sides of lower mandible dark pale and concolorous with the rest of the 

palate black yellow 

crown and occiput feathers lanceolate and not lanceolate and Chaetura Black slightly 

Black. tipped with brown, 

occipital feathers 11 mm or longer less than 10 mm long 

dorsal skin dark pale 

back dark Snuff Brown Auburn 

primaries dull Black Fuscous Black 

primary 10 does not reach the end of the reaches to at least the base of Fuscous 

White basal section of primary 9 Black distal section 

outer greater upper primary coverts White marked with dusky 

secondaries 7 and 8 uniform Fuscous tipped with Mikado Brown 

alular 2 with White outer web dusky with White patch 

rump Snuff Brown Cacao Brown 

oil gland with sparse black down no down 

upper sides of rectrices Black Chaetura Black 

throat Dark Mouse Gray Wood Brown 

breast Dark Mouse Gray Mouse Gray tipped with pale Cacao 

upper abdomen Verona Brown Mikado Brown 

under sides of retrices Black tipped with Chaetura Black and Pale Vinaceous Fawn 

White, including the shafts with dark shafts to the end 

claws horn coloured yellow 

Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 12 

The descriptions of the juvenal plumage in the standard works under- 
estimate the distinctiveness of this plumage, at least in Natal birds. The 
points of difference are set out in Table 2, in which the capitalized colour 
names are those of Ridgway (1912). But more curious is that juvenals moult 
the tail about a fortnight after leaving the nest and thus most juvenal speci- 
mens have second generation tails which are moulted with the remainder of 
the juvenal plumage at the end of summer, in Natal between January and 
June. The first generation of tail feathers are Chaetura Black and narrow 
with slightly pointed tip. The pale ends of the rectrices are Pale Vinaceous 
Fawn and the pale section of the sixth or outermost measures c. 10-5 mm 
in width by 6 mm in depth. The second generation of tail feathers are Black 
and broader, though not longer, with a slightly pointed tip. The pale ends 
are White with a dark shaft and the outermost measures c. 1 3 mm in width 
by 14 mm in depth. The third and subsequent generations of tail feathers are 
Black and even broader, with scalloped ends to the inner webs. The pale ends 
are White, the outermost measuring c. 17 mm in width by 18 mm in depth. 
Within the white sections in third generation feathers part or all of the shaft 
may be black but it is always white in the fourth and subsequent generations. 

The post juvenal moult leads to a plumage which is scarcely distinguishable 
from that of adults. In some birds the three or four outermost greater upper 
primary wing coverts are lightly marked with dusky instead of being plain 
white, and in some birds some or all of the shafts of the rectrices are at least 
partly black within the white terminal sections. Naik & Naik (1969) comment 
that nominate tristis in very fresh plumage have light grey tips to all dark 
feathers and that these soon abrade, leaving the plumage at the start of the 
breeding season brighter than it was when fresh. This is not true of Natal 
birds though here the Dark Mouse Gray breast feathers have Verona Brown 
tips when very fresh. In an immature female the palate was not black as in 
adults or yellow as in juvenals but dusky pink : more immature birds must be 
examined to see if this character is constant. The testes of one male collected 
in immature plumage in the breeding season were (left) 13x5, (right) 12x5 
mm and thus of a size to be fully functional. It appears that in Natal A. tristis 
starts breeding when it is just under a year old. 

There are three alular quills as stated by Naik & Naik (1969) and this is the 
commonest number in the Passeriformes. Quills 1 and 2 (no. 1 being the 
innermost as recommended by Van Tyne & Berger 1959) are pied but do 
not match the adjacent upper primary coverts. This lack of matching is the 
less common situation in birds. Quill 3 is totally black, perhaps to strengthen 
it as being the longest quill and the one most subject to abrasion through 
use. There is no subalular apterium but the feathering here is sparser in 
juvenals than in adults, a situation which is probably widespread in birds 
which do not have this apterium in adults and of some slight advantage in 
reducing the number of feathers that the nestling has to grow in a very short 
period. Likewise, in juvenal A. tristis the oil gland is nude but in adults it is 
sparsely covered with black down. 

Naik & Naik (1969) have elucidated the moult patterns of nominate 
tristis in western India. Natal tristoides reflect the patterns they have detected, 
including the marked tendency to a jumbled mode in the rectrices, irrespective 
of generation. Egg laying continues into January in Natal (Dean 1971) and 
an adult female collected on 5 February had started to moult at least a fort- 
night earlier. As in India, there is no clear demarcation between the breeding 
and moulting seasons. 

t 5 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

As in many starlings, plain white feathers may be found in tracts which are 
normally pigmented. I have seen three Asiatic specimens with white occipital 
feathers and a Natal specimen with a pure white outer left rectrix. One 
Chinese bird in fresh plumage had white tips to the first five primaries and 
the first seven secondaries. 

I am obliged for the loan of material to the authorities of the Field Museum of Natural 
History, Chicago, the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, the National 
Museum of Rhodesia, Bulawayo, the Transvaal Museum, Pretoria. I would also thank 
Dr. B. Stuckenberg for facilities for study in the Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, and Mr. 
G. Indelicato for obtaining a series of 17 birds at Marianhill at my request. Mr. P. A. 
Clancey has kindly commented on a draft of this paper which arises out of his observations 
to me on material available in 1973. 

References : 

Ali, S. & Ripley, S. D. 1972. Handbook of the birds 0/ India and Pakistan, 5. Bombay: Oxford 

University Press. 
Amadon, D. 1962. in Check-list of birds of the world, 15 (Ed. Mayr & Greenway). Cambridge 

(Mass.): Museum Comparative Zoology. 
Benson, C. W. i960. The birds of the Comoro Islands. Ibis 103b: 5-106. 
Calder, D. R. 1953. The distribution of the Indian Myna. Bokmakierie 5 : 4-6. 
Dean, W. R. J. 1971. Breeding data for the birds of Natal and Zululand. Durban Mus. 

Novit. 9: 59-91. 
Delacour, J. & Jabouille, P. 1931. Les oiseaux de Tlndochine Francaise, 4. Paris: Exposition 

Coloniale Internatn. 
Dement'ev, G. P. & Gladkov, N. A. 1970. Birds of the Soviet Union, 5. Jerusalem: Israel 

Program Scientific Translations. 
Frith, H. J. & McKean, J. L. 1975. Races of the introduced Spotted Turtledove, Strepto- 

pelia chinensis (Scopoli), in Australia. Austral. Journ. Zool. 23: 295-306. 
Hartert, E. 1932. Die Vogel der paldarktischen Fauna suppl. Berlin: Friedlander. 
Harwin, R. M. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1966. The spread of the House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, 

in south-central Africa. Arnoldia (Rhod.) 2: 24. 
Johnston, R. F. & Selander, R. K. 1964. House Sparrows: rapid evolution of races in 

North America. Science 144: 548-550. 
Kent, C. C. 1927. The Indian Myna. S. Afr. Journ. Nat. Hist. 6: 127-129. 
Naik, N. L. & Naik, R. M. 1969. On the plumages and moults of some Indian starlings. 

Pavo 7: 57-73. 
Niethammer, G. 1971. Zur Taxonomie europaischer, in Neuseeland eingebiigerter Vogel. 

Journ. f Orn. 112: 202-226. 
Ridgway, R. 191 2. Color standards and color nomenclature. Washington: Author. 
Sharpe, R. B. 1 890. Catalogue of the birds in the British Museum, 13. London : Trustees British 

Smythies, B. E. 1953. The birds of Burma. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Van Tyne, J. & Berger, A. J. 1959. Fundamentals of ornithology. New York: Wiley. 
Vaurie, C. 1959. The birds of the palearctic fauna. London: Witherby. 

The status of Aratinga astec melloni Twomey 

by Kenneth C. Parke s 

Received on 12 December 19 jj 
Since the description of Aratinga astec melloni by Twomey in 1950, only two 
authors, to my knowledge, have commented on this alleged Honduran 
subspecies of the Olive-throated Parakeet. Twomey described melloni as 
differing from A. a. astec in being "decidedly paler on the breast, abdomen 
and flanks, the green being duller and more suffused with a grayish undertone, 
the olivaceous cast to the breast and throat duller; the back is paler with an 
olivaceous cast on the crown, back and interscapular regions in contrast to 
the brighter green of Aratinga astec astec". Monroe (1968) examined a large 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 14 

series of this species from southern Mexico and Central America, and could 
find no significant variation in colour. Forshaw (1973) gave melloni a full 
numbered entry, but stated that it was "doubtfully distinct" and "probably 
not separable" from as tec , citing Monroe. 

Both these latter authors overlooked the fact that Twomey's comparative 
material of astec contained only specimens from Costa Rica, although the 
type locality oiConurus astec Souance is "Mexico". Twomey had no Mexican 
specimens other than one of A. a. vicinalis (Bangs & Penard) from Tamau- 
lipas. If Honduran specimens were indeed separable from those of Costa 
Rica as claimed by Twomey, one would expect them to resemble those of 
Mexico, and Twomey would thus have named the wrong population. On the 
other hand, Twomey considered seven specimens from British Honduras to 
be "intermediate between Aratinga astec vicinalis and Aratinga astec melloni". 
As vicinalis is presently considered to be a subspecies from Tamaulipas and 
northern Veracruz, intergradation in British Honduras between this form 
and the alleged Honduran form melloni would place in question the range and 
characters of nominate astec ; from an unspecified locality in Mexico. 

Although Marien & Koopman (1955) considered the two specimens of 
vicinalis they examined to be "exceedingly similar" to astec, the limited 
number of specimens I have examined indicate that it is quite recognizeable, 
an opinion which is shared by, among others, Monroe (1968) and Allan R. 
Phillips (pers. comm.). Forshaw (1973) accepts it without comment. 

As is clearly indicated by a series of specimens from Veracruz in the U.S. 
National Museum of Natural History, intergradation between vicinalis and 
astec extends through much of that state. A specimen from Potrero, less than 
150 km south of Altamira, Tamaulipas, the type locality of vicinalis, is 
intermediate between the two subspecies. Farther south, two of six from 
Tres Zapotes and one of two from Motzorongo clearly show some influence 
of vicinalis. Of the other four Tres Zapotes specimens, two are so badly worn 
and stained that colour evaluation is impossible, and two are within the 
range of variation of Middle American astec. This is also true of the second 
Motzorongo specimen and the two from farther south, at Paso Nuevo. 

It would appear to be desirable to restrict the type locality of Conurus astec 
Souance to some place in Mexico from which specimens are well removed 
from any influence of vicinalis, and from which early specimens may plausibly 
have been received. Accordingly, I designate the restricted type locality of 
astec as Merida, Yucatan. An old Merida specimen and two old specimens 
from Chichen Itza (about 100 km east of Merida) in the U.S. National Museum, 
and a recent specimen from Kopoma (about 50 km southwest of Merida) in 
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, are all good matches for Central 
American specimens. This parakeet is abundant on the Yucatan Peninsula. 

Returning now to the question of melloni, the Carnegie Museum series has 
been augmented by four additional specimens collected by Twomey at 
Coyoles, Honduras, subsequent to his description of melloni, and we have 
also acquired several specimens from various localities on the Yucatan 
Peninsula. Study of this series leads me to accord with Monroe's opinion, 
based on a larger sample, that the Honduran specimens have no distinctive 
characters of their own. Monroe stated that "There is much variation in the 
intensity of green coloration due to wear (or fading)", and I may add that 
many of the specimens are also badly stained. Of the series originally studied 
by Twomey, all are still at Carnegie Museum of Natural History except for 
the Coyoles paratype of melloni, which is now in the Peabody Museum of 

15 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Natural History, Yale University. Five of the six specimens from Manatee 
Lagoon, British Honduras, and all four of the specimens from Guapiles, 
Costa Rica, are so badly discoloured ventrally as to be almost valueless for 
colour comparisons. Enough clean specimens are available, however, to 
indicate that individual variation is rather marked, and transcends any 
supposed geographic variation within the range traditionally assigned to 
astec. It is clear that melloni Twomey is to be considered a synonym of astec 

In listing his paratypes, Twomey inadvertently repeated one catalogue 
number. The specimen collected at Trujillo, Honduras on 30 March 1948 
should be no. 132,506 rather than no. 132,540. 

Finally, it should be noted that Bond (1945 and subsequent publications), 
Marien & Koopman (1955), and Forshaw (1973) have all considered Ara- 
tinga astec to be conspecific with A. nana of Jamaica {nana being the senior 
name). After examining the series in the U.S. National Museum of nana (a 
form lacking in Carnegie Museum of Natural History), I agree with these 
authors that the differences between nana and astec, at least those visible in 
study skins, are so minor that the most reasonable taxonomic treatment is to 
consider them conspecific. It follows, therefore, that I advocate the recog- 
nition of three subspecies: Aratinga nana nana (Vigors) of Jamaica; A. n. 
vicinalis (Bangs & Penard) of Tamaulipas and northernmost Veracruz, 
Mexico; and A. n. astec (Souance) of southern Veracruz, Mexico, south to 

References : 

Bond, J. 1945. Check-list of birds of the West Indies. Philadelphia: Academy of Natural 

Forshaw, J. M. 1973. Parrots of the world. Melbourne: Lansdowne. 
Marien, D. & Koopman, K. F. 1955. The relationships of the West Indian species of 

Aratinga (Avcs, Psittacidae). Amer. Mus. Novit. No. 171 2: 1-20. 
Monroe, B. M. Jr. 1968. A distributional survey of the birds of Honduras. Ornith. Monogr. 

No. 7: 1-458. 
Twomey, A. C. 1950. A new race of paroquet of the species Aratinga astec from the Republic 

of Honduras. Ann. Carnegie Mus. 31 : 297-298. 

The Taxonomic Status of the Scottish Crossbill Loxia sp. 

by Alan G. Knox 

Received ) December 19JJ 
For many years now there has been controversy over the affinities of the 
Scottish Crossbill, described as Loxia curvirostra scotica, but sometimes placed 
as a race of the Parrot Crossbill L. pytyopsittacus. The problem centres on 
scotica' s morphological intermediacy between nominate L. c. curvirostra and 
L. pytyopsittacus, and the fact that the race maintains itself in the face of 
repeated invasions of c. curvirostra, some of which remain to breed alongside 
the residents (for details and references see Knox, 1975). Sympatric breeding 
without any significant hybridisation (if any) indicates that reproductive 
isolation exists, and thus prevents the treatment of c. curvirostra and c. scotica 
as conspecifics. On the other hand, placing L. c. scotica with L. pytyopsittacus 
assumes absence of reproductive isolation, and that the two are directly 
related. Both assumptions lack evidence. It is just as likely that L. c. scotica 
and L. pytyopsittacus arose from ancestral L. curvirostra independently, and 
even if /,. pytyopsittacus did arise from ancestral L. c. scotica, their differences 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


would strongly suggest they are now isolated. With the above problem in 
view an investigation was made into the morphology of L. a scotica and its 
closest relatives. 


From the skins of full grown L. pytyopsittacus, c. scotica ', c. curvi rostra, c. 
guillemardi and c.poliogyna, mandibular profile photographs were taken on the 
side to which the lower mandible crossed, and the following measurements 
made : culmen length (taken as a chord from the base of the feathering to the 
bill tip), lower mandible length (taken as a chord from the notch where the 
rami join to the tip), lower mandible width (maximum width where the rami 
enter the skin), and combined mandibular depth (at the base of the man- 
dibles), as well as the wing length (flattened and straightened). Using the 
photographs and a camera lucida, the outline of each upper mandible was 
enlarged within a standard grid consisting of two parallel upright lines, one 
5 cm long, perpendicular to the ends of a 7 cm horizontal baseline. The image 
of the base of the culmen at the feathering (A on Fig. ia) was placed at the 
distal end of the 5 cm line on the grid (B on Fig. ia), and the image was 
enlarged until the tip of the upper mandible fitted into the corner formed by 
the baseline and the other perpendicular (C on Fig. ia). The outline was then 


5 cm 


Figure ia. Grid used for obtaining the 
index of curvature and index of depth, and 
the outline of the bill of a crossbill. For 
further explanation see the text. 

Figure ib. The grid with the fitted outline 
of the upper mandible of a crossbill. 
Distances measured (in mm) and summed 
to give the index of curvature represented 
by dotted lines (a-b, c-d, e-f to w-x). ID = 
distance (in mm) used as index of depth. 

drawn. For about half the birds it was necessary to reverse the grid as the 
bill crossed to the other side. From points at 5 mm intervals along the 7 cm 
baseline, starting 1 cm from the 5 cm line, and excluding the final point, the 
perpendicular distance from the baseline to the outline of the culmen (a-b, 
c-d, e-f to w-x) was measured in mm. These twelve measurements were 
then summed to give an index of curvature, 2. figure quantifying the culmen 
curvature. An index of depth (an indirect measure of upper mandible depth in 
relation to culmen length) was found by estimating the perpendicular 
distance of the proximal part of the upper mandibular tomium to the top of 
the 5 cm line (ID on Fig. ib). From this index of depth, a corrected index of 
depth (taking into account variations in culmen length) was calculated thus : 

index of depth X culmen length 


= corrected index of depth 

The value of the divisor has no special significance ; in this case it is taken 
from the length of the grid baseline (in mm). 

17 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Although Witherby et al (1938) claimed that the bill depth for scotica was 
12- 5-14- 5 mm compared to io- 5-12 mm in c. curvirostra, it was evident in 
my series that an overlap existed and that none of the measurements would 
distinguish all of c. curvirostra from all of c. scotica (Tables 1-8). The c. curvi- 
rostra jc. scotica assemblage was therefore divided into two geographical 
classes: (i) birds from the "Highland" area (the main range off. scotica: the 
former counties of Perth, Aberdeen, Banff, Moray, Nairn, Inverness and 
Ross), and (ii) those from the remaining parts of the British Isles and Europe 
(excluding Spain and Asia Minor, where there may be other races involved). 
By treating the sexes separately, and plotting the width of the lower mandible 
against the index of curvature, it was found that the points representing 
birds from the two areas formed overlapping, but diagonally opposed 



1 10. 


□ D ft) □ D D D 

• • •% •• *«fr»*4 • a % 

■ 1 1 1 

20 40 60 80 100 

index of curvature (-400) 
Figure 2. Width of lower mandible plotted against index of curvature for full grown male 
crossbills. Open squares, L. c. scotica; filled squares, L. c. curvirostra collected in the High- 
lands; filled circles, L. c. curvirostra collected in other parts of Britain and Europe. 

clusters, with the exception of some points representing c. curvirostra im- 
migrants collected in the "Highlands'' (Fig. 2). The clusters were subjec- 
tively separated, and the averages and ranges of measurements for the 
groups calculated. The measurements of each bird collected in the British 
Isles were in turn repeatedly compared with those of the groups, to see into 
which the bird best fitted, and, if necessary, the averages and ranges of 
measurements for the groups then recalculated. Using this method, most 
birds were easily assigned to either c. scotica or c. curvirostra, though mis- 
identification possibly occurred in a few cases. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

TABLES 1-8 Linear and derived measurements of crossbills 
L. pytyopsittacus L. c. scotica L.c.curvirostra L. c. poliogyna L. c . guillemardi 

d'd* 55 c?<J 55 36 95 63 59 o\? 59 


Wing length (in mm) 


104-7 1 


99-4 96-6 

97'7 95 3 








39 21 

99 3° 







1 • 1 

2-4 2-5 

2-5 i-8 

2- I 




2 SE± 



0*77 i- 08 

0*50 o*66 



I '02 

2' 02 




95- 9°~ 

90- 93- 







104 100 

103 99 







length (in mm) 


20 • 3 


18-9 18-8 

18-8 18-6 

i8- 7 



i8- 7 




39 21 

98 30 








o-6 o-6 

o-8 o-8 

1 -o 







o-2o 0*26 

0-17 0-31 








17-5- 18 -o- 

17-0- 16-5- 




i.7' 5- 



20 'O 20 -o 

21'0 20'5 


20 -o 


20 -o 

table 3 

Lower mandible length (in mm) 




12*2 I2-0 

12-0 I2'0 








39 21 

97 30 






I 'O 


0-5 0-4 

o-6 o-8 





2 SE± 



0-16 0-16 

0-13 0-31 






12 'O- 


1 1 • 0- 1 1 • 0- 

1 1 • 0- 1 1 • 0- 


II 'O- 

12 'O- 




13-0 12-5 

14-0 15-5 






Width of lower mandible (in 1 





I2*0 n-6 

ii-o 10-7 




11 -i 




35 21 

93 29 








0-4 0-5 

0-5 i-o 








0-15 0-23 

o-ii 0-37 








11 -o- 10-5- 

9-5- io-o- 


10 -o- 



I 4 -5 


13-0 12-5 

I2-0 II'J 


II -o 



table 5 

Depth of mandibles at base (ir 

1 mm) 




11 -6 11 -j 

10*7 10-5 



II -o 





20 10 

66 22 








o-6 o*4 

0*5 o-8 








0*27 0-24 

0-12 0-34 








1 1 • 0- 1 1 • 0- 

9.5- 9-5- 


10 -o- 





13-0 I2'0 

I2'0 II'J 


II -o 



Index of Curvature (-400) 




68-5 69-4 

42-5 46-2 


60 -7 

6 9 '6 

5 i-6 




38 21 

97 3° 






11 • 1 


14-7 18-5 

13-9 12-4 





2 SE± 



4-76 8-07 

2-83 4-53 








41- 45- 

8- 22- 







93 109 

74 68 





table 7 

Index of Depth 




33-i 34-8 

31-8 31-2 








38 21 

97 30 








2-3 i-6 

2'2 2*6 








0-74 0-69 

0-44 0-95 








29- 32- 

28- 26- 







40 39 

37 35 






Corrected Index of Depth 




8-9 9-3 

8-5 8.3 








38 21 

97 30 








0-5 0-4 

o-6 0-5 






o- 16 


0-17 0-18 

O'H o- 18 








7.9- 8-5- 

7-2- 7-6- 





II • I 


io-6 10-3 

10-3 9*2 





19 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


Coefficients of Difference (Mayr 1969: 189) for the measurements of male crossbills. 

L. pytyopsittacus 
and c . scotica 

c. scotica and 
c . curvirostra 

L. pytyopsittacus 
and c. curvirostra 

wing length 

i- 06 



culmen length 



1 -07 

width of lower mandible 


1 -ii 


depth of combined mandibles 

1 -64 



index of curvature 




Tables 1-8 show that in wing length (which in crossbills is roughly pro- 
portional to body size) and culmen length, c. scotica is very similar to c. 
curvirostra, and in all measurements the degree of overlap is extensive 
(further details in Knox 1975). L. pytyopsittacus, on the other hand, is quite 
distinct, especially when two or more features are considered together. The 
superficial similarity between Scottish and Parrot Crossbills extends only to 
some aspects of bill shape (Table 9). Additional evidence for this morpho- 
logical separation is found in comparing their respective song spectrograms, 
that of c . scotica being more like c. curvirostra than either is to L. pytyopsittacus 
(Knox, unpublished). 

The large-billed L. pytyopsittacus (which feeds largely on pine Pinus) 
probably arose in north-west Europe before the advance of spruce Picea (on 
which L. curvirostra largely feeds) into the region. Since L. pytyopsittacus and 
L. curvirostra became sympatric, character displacement has probably empha- 
sised the differences between them. Nevertheless, with reproductive isolation 
occurring between c. curvirostra and c. scotica (despite their similarities), it 
seems unlikely that c. scotia and L. pytyopsittacus are not also isolated. Since, 
additionally, there is no evidence at present to support the proposal that L. c. 
scotica and L. pytyopsittacus are directly related, it is recommended that the 
Scottish Crossbill be treated as a monotypic species, Loxia scotica Hartert, as 
previously suggested by Salomonsen (1963: 415). It is further suggested 
that there may be other forms of crossbill, at present designated subspecies, 
which should be likewise treated. 


I would like to thank I. C. J. Galbraith and I. H. J. Lyster for their hospitality when I 
visited the British Museum (Tring) and the Royal Scottish Museum (Edinburgh) respec- 
tively. Dr. F. Salomonsen (through Dr. W. R. P. Bourne) kindly provided a translation of 
his 1963 reference quoted here. I am particularly grateful to Professor V. C. Wynne- 
Edwards for advice, and for criticising a draft of this paper. 

References : 

Knox, A. G. 1975. Crossbill Taxonomy. Pages 1 91-201 in Pine Crossbills, by D. 

Nethersole-Thomspon. Poyser, Berkhampstead. 
Mayr, E. 1969. Principles of Systematic Zoology. New York. 
Salomonsen, F. 1963. Systematisk Oversigt Over Nordens Fugle. Volume 7 of Nordens 

Fugle I Farver, edited by N. Blaedel. Ejnar Munksgaard, Skandinavisk Bogforlag. 
Witherby, H. F., Jourdain, F. C. R., Ticehurst, N. F. & Tucker, B. W. 1938. The Handbook 

of British Birds. Volume 1. Witherby, London. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 20 

Taxonomic and faunistic notes on birds of the 
Malay Peninsula 

by D. R. Wells and Lord Medway 

Received j December 197J 

The fifth and concluding volume of The Birds of the Malay Peninsula (Medway 
& Wells 1976), the text of which was completed on 20 May 1972 and closed 
to further amendment in proof on 31 December 1973, includes systematic 
citation of all birds known in the region at the latter date. For most taxa a 
skeleton synonymy indicates the authority for nomenclatural usage, but the 
arrangement of the book (which follows the general format of previous 
volumes) made it inappropriate to discuss purely taxonomic decisions. All 
new or possibly controversial nomenclature to appear is accordingly ex- 
plained in the present paper. Other matter herein is faunistic, and includes 
the correction of previously published misidentifications which could distort 
the true picture of geographical distribution, range of habitats or status. We 
also take the opportunity to remark on changes in nomenclature introduced 
since 1973, and on some important revisions of range and two additional 
species discovered by recent fieldwork. Medway & Wells (1976) is referred 
to frequently merely by page number. 

As in the book, the region denoted by the term "Malay Peninsula" (or in adjectival form 
"Peninsular") comprises the Republic of Singapore, the states of Peninsular Malaysia and 
the provinces of Southern Thailand north to precisely io° N, including politically associated 
islands. All localities mentioned are listed in the gazetteer and/or shown in the maps in 
Medway & Wells (1976). The English and systematic nomenclature and the sequence of 
species follow the book; additional species are inserted according to their position in 
Deignan (1963). 

Specimens were examined from the collections of the following institutions, cited in the 
abbreviated form indicated: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (ANSP); American 
Museum of Natural History, New York (AMNH); private museum of Dr. Boonsong 
Lekagul, Bangkok (BLM) ; British Museum (Natural History), Tring (BMNH) ; Muzium 
Negara, Kuala Lumpur (MNKL); Peninsular Malaysian Game Department (PMGD); 
Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden (RNH); Singapore national collections, late 
of the National Museum, now at the Zoology Department, University of Singapore 
(ZDUS); Thai national collections, Applied Scientific Research Corporation of Thailand, 
Bangkok (TNC) ; United States National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. 
(USNM); University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge (CMZ); and Zoology Department, 
University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur (ZDUM). 

Measurements were made of the wing flattened and straightened, the tail flattened and 
measured from the base of the central rectrices, and the gape as a chord from the angle of 
the mouth to the tip of the longest mandible. 

Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis 

Little Grebes may for long have bred undetected in Tale Noi, Tale Sap 
and other natural open waters or swamps in the Thai provinces of the Malay 
Peninsula, but in the Malaysian states the presence of resident populations 
has been confirmed only in artificial habitats of modern origin, suggesting 
a recent extension of range. Peninsular birds were assigned to P. r.philippensis 
by Robinson & Kloss (1921) and by later authors until Deignan (1963) 
identified all Thai specimens (mentioning examples from the Peninsular 
provinces of Trang and Phatthalung) as P. r. poggei. On this authority we 
tentatively extended the range of poggei to include also the Malaysian states 
(p. 77). Available comparative material shows no consistent plumage 
differences between topotypes oi poggei and phi lippensis, notwithstanding the 

21 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

distinctions claimed by Reichenow (1902): the colour of the underparts 
and extent of black on the chin are particularly variable. There are however 
significant differences between the two races in the size of the bill, in which 
all specimens from the Malay Peninsula conform with P. r.poggei (Table 1). 

We noted that a bird in non-breeding plumage taken in the northern 
winter on the small island of Pisang (which lacks freshwater habitat suitable 
for a resident population) was probably a migrant. Sizeable flocks on Tale 
Noi in February and September 1974 (Holmes & Wells 1975) also suggest 
migration, which might therefore explain reports of subspecific intergrades 
in extralimital peninsular Thailand (Robinson & Kloss 1921) and southern 
Vietnam (Delacour & Jabouille 193 1). From his description, however, 
Riley's (1938: 20) identification of P. r. albipennis (— capensis) in Trang 
province is clearly wrong; it was ignored by Deignan (1963). 

Measurements (mm) of Little Grebes Podiceps ruficollis 


Dimensions of bill 

Collection or 





Depth at angle 


P. r. poggei 




25 0-29-6 






24 -29 




CMZ 1 , 



P. r. philip- 

Luzon 2 








a Speci 

men kindly 

examined by 

Mr. C. W. Benson 


2 Birds 

in nuptial plumage only 

Red-billed Tropic Bird Pbaethon aethereus 

D. Goodwin {in litt.) has confirmed that the only known specimen of a 
tropic bird collected within the defined limits of the Malay Peninsula 
(BMNH 1 8 80. 1. 1. 342 3), although rather dirty and discoloured, is attribu- 
table to P. a. indicus. 

Blue-faced Booby Sula dactylatra 

On visits in March and July 1973, Langham, Wells & Charles (1973, 1974) 
found no Blue-faced (= Masked) Boobies on the island of Pulau Perak, the 
only known nesting locality within the limits of the Malay Peninsula (p. 80), 
and concluded that the former small breeding population is now extinct. 
Thus it may now be impossible to check Gibson-Hill's (1956) attribution of 
this population on geographical grounds to the subspecies bedouti, generally 
regarded (e.g. Condon 1975) as a synonym of S. d. per sonata. 

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 

The Grey Herons of Malaysia and Indonesia share the habit of nesting in 
mangrove. Mees (1971) thought it likely that breeding birds of the west 
coast of Peninsular Malaysia would prove attributable to A. c. altirostris, the 
subspecies described by him from Java and Sumatra, rather than A. c.jouyi 
(type locality Japan) in which they were placed by Vaurie (1965). Our series 
together with ten BMNH specimens from various parts of China, show 
overlap not only in the length of the bill but also in its depth, the character 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 22 

considered critical by Mees. Of the five specimens from the Malay Peninsula 
(Table 2), only those from Trang and Pulau Ketam, Selangor, are within the 
size range of altirostris; the other three are too small, including one from 
Matang, a district of extensive mangrove and a known breeding haunt. 
Long-billed birds, with culmen 127-133 mm, have also been taken far inland 
in northwestern Thailand on 24 March (ZDUS) and 7 August (Gylden- 
stolpe 1916) and in Laos on 22 January (BMNH 1936. 4.12. 859). Eleven 
other specimens taken in the Thai-Indochinese region during the northern 
winter (BMNH, ZDUS) fall within the size range oi jouyi. Some of these 
may have been migrants from temperate latitudes: birds ringed in Russia 
have been recovered in northern Thailand (McClure 1974) and all records 
from northern and northwestern Borneo were attributed to migrants by 
Smythies (1968). Yet there is at present no evidence that migrants reach the 
Malay Peninsula and the dates of the two smallest specimens fall outside the 
normal wintering sojourn of migratory ardeids in the area. If our sample is 
representative of the resident Peninsular population, this is apparently to 
some extent intermediate between jouyi and altirostris; but until a larger 
number of authentic breeding adults is available we have retained existing 
nomenclature (p. 84). 


Bill measurements (mm) of Grey Herons Ardea cinerea taken according to Mee's (1971) 

Locality Number or Culmen Bill depth Date Collection or 

Sex Age reference 

A. c. jouyi 

China & Japan 

17 6*? 





Mees (1971) 

Kapang, Trang 




31 Dec 

ANSP 138493 1 


$ ad 



26 May 


Matang, Perak 

? ad 



1 Jan 


Pulau Ketam 2 

$ ad 



3 J a n 

MNKL 587 


$ imm 



26 Aug 


A. c. altirostris 

Java & 

28 <J$ 




Mees (1971) 



»: x Kindly measured by 

Dr. F. B. 


2 A known breeding site 

Crested Honey Buz2ard Perms ptylorhyncus 

The identification of all migrants as the eastern Palaearctic subspecies 
P. p. orientalis (p. 104) discounted Stresemann's (1940) attribution of four 
winter specimens from Trang, Perak and Malacca to P. p. ruficollis, the sub- 
species breeding from India through subtropical Southeast Asia (Vaurie 
1965). One of these (unsexed, labelled "Malacca, 7 January 1885") could well 
have been a trade skin and is therefore of uncertain provenance (see Medway 
& Wells 1976: xiv); two can be shown to conform with P. p. orientalis; only 
one is potentially controversial. 

No plumage characters satisfactorily distinguish the two races. Differences 
in tail coloration asserted by Stresemann (1940) were not corroborated in a 
larger sample (Vaurie & Amadon 1962). Stresemann's statistic (100 x tail- 
length/wing-length) is equally unhelpful. Some attention has been paid to an 
average difference in the length and shape of the wing, which presumably 
reflects comparative migratory performance. Stresemann's use of the wing- 
tip length (longest secondary to longest primary in the closed wing), however 


[Bull. B.O.C. i 97 6: 96(1)] 

was not critical because he excluded the small birds of Japan which at that 
time he considered distinct from P. p. orientalis. Vaurie & Amadon (1962) 
compared wing-tip as a percentage of total wing-length (wing tip index), 
but computations from Stresemann's figures do not support the clear-cut 
separation claimed. In Table 3, measurements of orientalis (gathered from the 
literature and from specimens in BMNH) derive exclusively from examples 
collected in the Palaearctic; the sample is large. Measurements of ruficollis 
were taken from specimens collected in the Indian subcontinent on nests and/ 
or between mid-May and late August. It is seen that by all criteria the Perak 
birds conform with orientalis. The Trang male has a long wing but a short 
wing tip (both absolutely and relatively) and is unidentifiable. The occurrence 
of P. p. ruficollis in the Malay Peninsula therefore remains unconfirmed, 
despite the fact that Vaurie & Amadon (1962) identified a long series of 
winter birds from Java and most of their measurements fall within the limits 
shown in Table 3. 


Measurements (mm) of Crested Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus 
Locality Number Wing- Wing-tip Wing tip Date Collection or 

Sex length index references 

P. p. orientalis 


6 6 




See text 

See text 






See text 

See text 






4 Jan 

(1940) & BMNH 





2 5 

7 Dec 







7 Dec 


P. p. ruficollis 















Philippine Banded Crake Rallina euri^onoides 

Ripley (1961) and Ali & Ripley (1969a) recognised a single South and 
Southeast Asian continental subspecies under the name R. e. amauroptera 
(Jerdon), type locality "Northern India", including in its synonymy Rallus 
superciliaris Eyton, type locality "Malacca". Deignan (1963), however, 
recognised two sub-species in Thailand: R. e. amauroptera and, south of the 
Isthmus of Kra, R. e. tehnatophila Hume, type locality "a few miles inland 
from Malacca". Comparative measurements (Table 4) do not support this 
distinction, but they do separate the breeding birds of the Indian subconti- 
nent. According to Ali & Ripley (1969a) wing-lengths of R. e. amauroptera 
of the subcontinent fall within the range 122-132 mm. Measurements of 
material in BMNH show slightly greater variation but, excluding three 
northeastern skins bracketed in Table 4, they still show very little overlap 
with available specimens from all parts of Southeast Asia. 

Deignan's (1963 : 30) specific mention of Trang only, which ignored other 
records from the Peninsular provinces of Thailand certainly known to him 
(see Riley 1938: 78-79), implies that he considered the male collected near 
the base of Khao Nam Pliu on 9 March (Riley 1938 ; USNM) to have repre- 
sented a resident Peninsular population, the others migrants. However, this 
date is six weeks earlier than the latest interception of spring migrants at 
Fraser's Hill, Malaysia (Wells 1972; Medway & Wells 1976: 129) and is by 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


no means proof that the bird was in its breeding area. There are no dated 
specimens or other records from any part of the Malay Peninsula between 
17 April and 30 October (BMNH — a date overlooked in the text of Medway 
& Wells 1976), and thus no evidence of a resident population. 

Since this rail does not occur in the Palaearctic region (Vaurie 1965), the 
breeding grounds of the Peninsular population can only lie in more northerly 
parts of Southeast Asia. Long-winged birds comparable in size to the 
Peninsular sample and exceeding the limits of amauroptera have been taken 
in Burma north to the Shan States and in northern and southern Thailand, in 
Laos and central Vietnam (Table 4). There is adequate evidence of migratory 
behaviour at least in the west of this area : the bird from Doi Angka (USNM 
472372), taken at 4,500 ft, was almost certainly on passage at that altitude; 
that from Thaunggyi (BMNH 1928.9. 18.3) is labelled "On migration"; and 
one from Theyetmyo was said by Oates (1883) to have flown into a house 
verandah. The February record from Bhutan (BMNH may 
indicate extension into the eastern Himalayas, but amauroptera has been 
reported nesting in the outer Himalayas (Ali & Ripley 1 969a) and this bird, 
together with the specimen collected in Bengal in January (BMNH 97.12.10. 
1 8 5 1) and the undated skin from Nepal are all likely to be wintering migrants. 

Measurements (mm) of Philippine Banded Crakes Rallina euri-^pnoides 
Locality Number Wing- Date Collection or 




R. e. amauroptera 
Assam, Sikkim, 
India & Ceylon 

f Bhutan 
< Nepal 

I^Barrackpore, Bengal 
Thaunggyi, Burma 
Theyetmyo, Burma 
Theyetmyo, Burma 
Ok Yam, Laos 
Quang Tri, Vietnam 

Thua Luu, Vietnam 
Doi Angka, north 

Ban Tha San, south 

Malay Peninsula 

Malay Peninsula 











I38 2 

(Assam : 
Jun, July) 

4 May 
6 May 

3 Jan 

15 Feb 
14 Apr 

28 Mar 

12 (2$ 134-143 30 Oct-17 Apr 

8 o 




& Jabouille (193 1) 


Robinson & Kloss 
(1919b), Riley (1938), 

Medway & Wells 
(1970), Wells (1972); 



x The only examples from the Indian subcontinent in BMNH 

which have wings exceeding this range are the three bracketed 

2 Kindly measured by Dr. R. L. Zusi. 

Chinese Crested Tern Sterna t(jmmermanni 

The Chinese Crested Tern was listed under this name (p. 165), 
superseded by S. bernsteini Schlegel (Mees, in press). 


25 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu 

Evidence was given (p. 169-70) that birds cross the sea on nocturnal flights. 
The extent of dispersal has since been demonstrated by the recovery of a 
Malaysian-ringed bird in mid Sumatra (Wells 1975). 

Himalayan Cuckoo Cuculus saturates 

The grounds for transferring the taxon lepidus from Cuculus poliocephalus 
to C. saturates have been explained by Becking (1975) and Wells & Becking 

Drongo Cuckoo Sumiculus lugubris 

Robinson (1928 : 249) claimed that a young Drongo Cuckoo was found in 
the nest of the Chestnut-crowned Flycatcher Warbler Seicercus castaniceps at 
Fraser's Hill, a hill station generally above 3500 ft elevation. The male foster 
parent was collected and is not in question; there are however good reasons 
for rejecting the identification of the cuckoo. The host warbler has not been 
recorded in the Malay Peninsula below 2700 ft (p. 326), while the Drongo 
Cuckoo — except on migration — has not been found above this height (p. 
187). Evidently the normal altitudinal ranges of warbler and cuckoo are 
exclusive. Neither in the Malay Peninsula nor elsewhere (Hoogerwerf 1949, 
Smythies 1953, Ali & Ripley 1969b) do known broodhosts of the Drongo 
Cuckoo include warblers of the genus Seicercus. S. castaniceps moreover is now 
recognised as the regular local foster of the Himalayan Cuckoo which is 
montane in distribution in the Malay Peninsula, occurs at Fraser's Hill and 
was presumably the species involved on this occasion. 

Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis 

Deignan (1963) followed Grant & Mackworth-Praed (1939) who united in 
one species the Lesser Coucals of Asia, Africa and Madagascar, for which 
the name toulou has priority. However Parkes (1957) noted that Asian and 
African forms are more similar to each other than either is to Malagasy birds, 
and Benson et al. (1970) drew attention to differences in habitat and voice 
separating African and Malagasy birds. From field experience in both regions, 
D.R. W. can confirm that the calls and preferred habitat of African and Asian 
birds are similar. It thus appears correct to separate the Malagasy population 
(C. toulou) from the remainder, for which the prior specific name is bengalensis. 

Javan Frogmouth Batrachostomus javensis 

Additional measurements (TNC; living birds) not available to Stresemann 
(1937) have shown that there is no gap in size between the apparently 
parapatric taxa affinis and continentalis, and they are accordingly treated as 
conspecific (p. 200). The allocation of both taxa to B. javensis forces the re- 
moval from this species of comutus y which is sympatric with affinis in the 
lowlands of Sumatra and Borneo. That cornutus, with longicaudates of the 
Kangean islands (Java Sea), may constitute a separate mid-Sundaic species 
is indicated on morphological grounds. 


Brooke (1970) proposed the subgenus Hjdrochous for the Giant Swiftlet, 
and later (Brooke 1972a) separated the swiftlets into three full genera. The 
evidence of the capacity to echolocate, or lack of it, supports this arrange- 
ment (Medway & Pye, in prep.). Among Peninsular swiftlets, only the 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 26 

species esculenta remains in the genus Collocalia (of which it is the type). The 
revised nomenclature of the remainder is as follows : 

Giant Swiftlet Hydrochous gigas 

Edible-nest Swiftlet Aerodramus fuciphagus 

Black-nest Swiftlet Aerodramus maxim us 

Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris 

White-throated Spinetail Swift Chaetura caudacuta 

From Java, Mees (1971) has reported one specimen of the eastern Palae- 
arctic C. c. caudacuta (collected on 14 Nov.) and two of C. c. nudipes (both 26 
Dec). Both subspecies evidently may be expected to occur on passage in the 
Malay Peninsula, where no examples have yet been collected. The normal 
wintering grounds of C. c. caudacuta are in Australasia (Condon 1975). The 
collection date of nudipes is a full month after the latest observation of the 
species in the Peninsula and supports the suggestion of Bartels & Stresemann 
(1929) that nudipes may winter in Java. 

Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis 

We have accepted Brooke's (1972b) argument that African and Asian palm 
swifts are separate species, although Ledger (1971) has found on both the 
feather louse Dennyus cypsiurus ', and feather lice are normally extremely host- 
specific. The correct spelling of the name balasiensis has been investigated by 
Medway (in press). 

Cinnamon-rumped Trogon Harpactes orrhophaeus 

A female from Surat Thani (USNM 330231) identified with some reser- 
vation by Riley (1938 : 166) has proved on re-examination to be an immature 
Red-rumped Trogon H. duvaucelii. This was presumably noticed by Deignan 
who did not list H. orrhophaeus from Thailand (Deignan 1963). 

Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus 

As briefly noted (p. 214), a male and two females collected on Khao Luang, 
Nakhon Si Thammarat, in May 1965 by Ben King provided the first records 
of this trogon from the Thai provinces of the Malay Peninsula. These were 
identified as H. e. chaseni (type locality in the Malaysian Main Range) after 
comparison also with specimens of the neighbouring subspecies H. e. 
erythrocephalus ; H. e. annamensis and H. e. klossi in BMNH and ZDUS. 

Measurements are not diagnostic. Previous authors (Robinson 1915a; 
Robinson & Kloss 1919a; Riley 1934; Schauensee 1934) based distinctions 
on the shade of the upperparts and/or barring of the wing-coverts. The Khao 
Luang birds are darker above than examples of klossi and erythrocephalus in 
ZDUS, but comparison of BMNH material including both sexes of all four 
subspecies showed no convincing differences in these characters; it is 
assumed that long exposure to heat and high ambient humidity has affected 
the coloration of Singapore specimens. Final identification was based on the 
male (USNM 5 34644) in which the vinaceous shade of the head and breast, 
distinct from the red of the underparts, closely matches a series of H. e. 
chaseni. Male annamensis are not dissimilar, but the geographically interposed 
subspecies klossi has the head much brighter red, concolorous with the 
underparts, and H. e. erythrocephalus of peninsular Burma is intermediate in 
this respect. 

27 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus 

As noted (p. 229), differences in the tail pattern among Pied Hornbills of 
the southern portion of the Malay Peninsula are attributable to individual 
variation and do not support a separation into two species. We have recog- 
nised as the boundary between subspecies the line along which the purported 
species were claimed to meet (Deignan 1963), north and west of which there 
is no variability in tail pattern. South and east of this line, some birds have 
the four outer pairs of rectrices all white, as does the type of convexus (Tem- 
minck & Lauguier 1838: pi. 530), while others have varying amounts of 
black on the basal parts of these feathers, often highly irregularly and 
asymmetrically distributed. Robinson (1927: 104) suggested that the black 
pigmentation in these feathers is a juvenile character in this population. 
However, while it is true that of seven specimens from Peninsular Malaysia 
in BMNH, only the three with the largest casques (denoting old age) have all 
white outer rectrices, the sample with black basal pigmentation includes 
undoubted adults as well as immature birds. It is possible that the elimination 
of black from these feathers is progressive throughout a bird's life, and 
finally complete at an extreme age, but there is certainly no special juvenile 
plumage involved. Since examples occur also in Java (AMNH 645095 ; kindly 
examined, with other specimens, for us by Dr. L. L. Short), variability in 
tail pattern is evidently a character of the subspecies convexus (type locality 
Java). However, our data are insufficient to test for clinal variation in the 
frequency of occurrence of black in the outer rectrices; should the southern 
Peninsular population prove separable, the name intermedins Blyth (1847) 
appears to be available. 

Rufous Woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus 

Short (1973) submerged Micropternus into the otherwise neotropical genus 
Ce/eus, of which he considers brachyurus a typical member (pers. comm.). 

Orange-backed Woodpecker Chrysocolaptes validus 

Short (1973) has allocated this species to a monotypic Sundaic genus 
Reinwardtipicus Bonaparte. 

Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis 

Robinson & Kloss (1923a) demonstrated a cline of increasing average size 
from south to north among the Green Broadbills of the Malay Peninsula and 
distinguished their new subspecies continents (type locality Chumphon 
province) from viridis (type locality Benkulen, Sumatra) solely by its longer 
wing. Subsequent collection has provided larger samples, reducing the 
overall metrical difference, and successive authors (Robinson & Kloss 1923a; 
Chasen 1935 ; Riley 1938; Gibson-Hill 1949; Deignan 1963) have differed in 
their positioning of the boundary between these subspecies. Measurements 
available to us (Table 5 ) show that the range of variation in wing-length of 
birds from the extreme south of the Peninsula is smaller than elsewhere and 
falls largely within the zone of overlap between viridis and continents. The 
abrupt disappearance of long-winged birds between Negri Sembilan (where 
some measure no mm) and Malacca may prove spurious, but present data 
justify tentative taxonomic separation of the population of these southern 
states (p. 251). 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 




Measurements (mm) of Green Broadbills Calyptomena viridis 

Number Wing- Collection or 

Sex length reference 

C. v. continentis 


? (type) 


Robinson & Kloss (1923a) 


6 (type) 


Robinson & Kloss (1923a) 

Ranong & Chumphon 



Robinson & Kloss (1919b, 

south of Phuket 

(av. 107) 


All Thai provinces 



Robinson & Kloss (1923a) 

of Malay Peninsula 

Pahang, Selangor & 



Mist-netted birds, 1961-72 

Negri Sembilan 

(av. 103) 

Malacca, Johore & 





(av. 100) 

C. v. viridis 

Sumatra 5 93-i°3 BMNH 

Note: 1 Excluding 19th century trade skins, recognised by their labelling 
and cylindrical shape. 

Dusky Crag Martin Hirundo concolor 

Since completion of our text, Holmes & Wells (1975) and Wells (1975) have 
reported first records of this species from the Malay Peninsula on islets off 
Phangnga, at Ao Luk, Krabi province, and near Gopeng, Perak state. Sub- 
sequently, small groups were seen near Kuala Kangsar, Perak, in September 
and at Batu Caves, Selangor, in February, March and September 1 97 5 (D.R. W.), 
establishing a new geographical limit in the Peninsula and extending the known 
range of the Dusky Crag Martin in Southeast Asia south by 1 300 km. The local 
status of the species is not yet clear ; in India it is sedentary (Ali & Ripley 1 972). 

House Martin Delichon urbica dasypus 

Flocks of House Martins were seen by D.R.W. near Bukit Tinggi, Padang 
Highlands, Sumatra, on 6 March 1974, adding this island to the known 
wintering range in Southeast Asia (p. 259). 

Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina novaehollandiae 

A male, said by Riley (1938 : 277) to have been collected by H. M. Smith in 
Nakhon Si Thammarat province on 11 March 1929, was actually taken in 
eastern Thailand, possibly on the Korat plateau (see Riley's account of 
Smith's collecting trips). The discrepancy was evidently noted by Deignan 
(1963) who did not list the species south of the Isthmus of Kra. 

Slender-billed Crow Corpus enca 

Specimens from Kedah and the Yala-Pattani border reported by Bonhote 
(1901) are in fact Large-billed Crows Corvus macrorhynchos, with character- 
istically arched mandibles and heavy beaks, 21 and 22 mm deep, respectively, 
at the anterior margin of the nostril (CMZ). The erroneous identification has 
not been repeated in the regional literature, but we have not seen it formally 

Red-winged Shrike Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis 

Chasen (1935) allocated all Peninsular populations to the subspecies 
aerulatus (type locality Tenasserim), noting that "some specimens" from the 
Malaysian states were intergrades with cameranoi (type locality Sumatra). 

2 9 

{Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Subsequently Deignan (1946) separated the population of the Surat Thani- 
Nakhon Si Thammarat mountains, under the name schauenseei, and assigned 
Malaysian birds to cameranoi (Deignan 1964). 


Measurements (mm) of Red-winged Shrike Babblers Pteruthius flaviscapis 
Locality Number Wing- Collection or 

<& Sex 



P.f. schauenseei 


>8cSc^ 1 


Deignan (1946), BMNH, 






Deignan (1946), BMNH, 



P.f. cameranoi 









Peninsular Malaysia 

166* 6* 



Peninsular Malaysia 




Note: *Deignan (1946) did not list the number of specimens he measured. 

Peninsular Malaysian birds are distinctly darker coloured and also larger 
in size than P. f. schauenseei (Table 6). They are also distinguishable from 
Sumatran birds by small but appreciable colour differences, Malaysian males 
being slightly lighter underneath and slightly less pink on the flanks and 
females slightly less warm buff on the lower breast and abdomen. In wing 
length, however, our samples showed 50% overlap between males and 87% 
between females. Clearly, birds of the Peninsular Malaysian mountains are 
closer to those of Sumatra than to those of the Peninsular provinces of 
Thailand, and formal separation under another name would obscure this 

Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophrys 

In all collections from the Surat Thani-Nakhon Si Thammarat mountains 
(Robinson 1915b; Robinson & Kloss 1923b; coll. B. King 1965, USNM) the 
males are hen-plumaged. This population was considered indistinguishable 
from B. I. leucophrys (type locality Java) and listed under that name by Robin- 
son (1928) and Chasen (1935) but, presumably on geographical gounds, was 
transferred to B. I. wrayi (type locality Malaysian mountains) by Deignan 


While the males of at least one extralimital form are dimorphic, existing in 
both blue and brown phases (Ali & Ripley 1973), in our experience of 
Peninsular Malaysian wrayi all males are invariably at least partly blue, even 
among the populations of outlying peaks where selection for sexual di- 
morphism might conceivably be reduced. Malaysian birds are also on average 
slightly smaller than examples from Peninsular Thailand (Table 7). Javan 
birds do not differ in size from the Thai sample and some can be exactly 
matched in colour. But among 26 males from West Java (RNH), 1 1 have 
slate-blue lores, with a variable spread of this colour along the upper edge of 
the supercilium, round the eye to the ear-coverts and sides of the throat and 
face (an extreme condition present only in RNH 67017); some also have the 
pectoral band distinctly slaty. The progressive extension of blue colour is 
assumed to develop with age. Birds with blue in the plumage are also 
distinguished by the comparative whiteness (rather than rusty buff) of throat 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


and abdomen and the prominence of the white supercilium. Precisely similar 
differences in ventral colour and the conspicuousness of the supercilium are 
apparent between fresh males from Khao Luang (USNM 535052 and -54); 
yet the presumably older male has no trace of blue on the head or breast. 

These Thai birds are clearly distinct from B. L wrayi. Yet our attribution 
to B. I. kucophrys (p. 314), while following precedent, is no more than a 
provisional expedient. Their true affinity seems likely to be with more 
northerly populations. It is significant that among Burmese males (identified 
as B. I. nipalensis) "the blue phase is rare (if indeed it occurs at all)" (Smythies 
1953: 107), and the male B. I. carolinae in northern Thailand "seems never to 
acquire a slate-blue plumage" (Deignan 1945 : 407). 

Measurements (mm) of Lesser Shortwings Bracbypteryx kucophrys 
Locality Number, Sex Wing-lengtb Collection 


I. wrayi 

Peninsular Malaysia 






Peninsular Malaysia 







/. kucophrys 

West Java 



















Chestnut-crowned Flycatcher Warbler Seicercus castaniceps 

Of eight birds collected by Ben King on Khao Luang peak, Nakhon Si 
Thammarat, in April-May 1965, three match the description of adult S. c. 
youngi (Robinson 1928: 247-248). The other five are in a different plumage, 
presumably juvenile, which was not described by us (1976), namely: white 
eye-ring and wing and tail coloration as adult; mesial crown stripe and 
supercilium dull olive-orange, separated by blackish lateral crown-stripes; 
back, chin, throat, breast and flanks grey, faintly washed olive-yellow ; vent, 
thighs and under tail-coverts bright yellow; iris dark brown; upper mandible 
dark brown, lower yellow or dull orange. The bird illustrated by Gronvold 
(Robinson 1928 : pi. 20) in fact is similar, although not described in the text; 
it was collected on Khao Luang in March. It is notable that the juvenile 
S. c. youngi, with yellow in the plumage of the underparts, resembles S. c. 
butkri more closely than does the adult. 

White-throated Flycatcher Warbler Abroscopus superciliaris 

Deignan (1947a, 1963) misplaced the type locality of A. s. bambusarum, 
Khao Phanom Bencha, which is in Krabi province. 

Arctic Leaf Warbler Pbylloscopus borealis 

Vaurie (1954) showed that Parkes & Amadon (1948) and, following them, 
Gibson-Hill (1950) were not justified in attributing short- winged birds 
wintering in parts of Southeast Asia (including the Malay Peninsula) to P. b. 
kennicotti. Separation is possible by the length of the bill, but we are aware of 
no authentic identifications of kennicotti from the Peninsula and accordingly 
have omitted this subspecies (p. 328). 

31 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

White-fronted Flycatcher Ficedula hjperjthra 

Deignan's (1947b, 1963) broad concept of the genus Muscicapa has not 
been universally accepted, and we are not alone in partially rejecting it 
(e.g. Vaurie 1965; King, Woodcock & Dickinson 1975). There is one 
nomenclatural consequence of our arrangement. Within the genus Ficedula 
as we recognise it, the name malayana Ogilvie-Grant, which was used for the 
Peninsular population of the White-fronted Flycatcher by Chasen (1935) and 
Gibson-Hill (1949), is a junior homonym of F. solitaris malayana Sharpe. 
Under Deignan's (1947b) scheme the synonym {Dendrobiastes hjperythrus) 
sumatranus Hachisuka was not available, being preoccupied by Niltava 
sumatrana Salvadori; accordingly he provided a new name, oliga Deignan. 
Since we believe that the distinctions are sufficiently marked to justify 
retention of the genus Niltava (including the Malaysian Niltava N. sumatrana) 
the problem of homonymy no longer arises and Hachisuka's name thus 
becomes available in priority to Deignan's (p. 347). 

Blue-throated Flycatcher Cjornis rubeculoides 

A specimen taken in Kelantan on 28 August (Bonhote 1901, CMZ) proved 
on re-examination to be an adult male Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cjornis 
tickelliae. Although the misidentification has not passed into the regional 
literature, we take this opportunity to correct it as it precedes by a month the 
known first date of autumn arrival. 

Hill Blue Flycatcher Cjornis banjumas 

A blue flycatcher (USNM 170508) taken on Singapore island tentatively 
identified by Riley (1 93 8 : 45 1) as Cjornis whitei caeruleifrons ( — C. b. coerulifrons) 
proved on re-examination to be an adult male Mangrove Blue Flycatcher 
Cjornis rufigastra. Again, the misidentification has not passed into the regional 
literature, but still requires correction. 

Black-collared Starling Sturnus nigricollis 

This starling has recently been added to the Peninsular list with records 
from Surat Thani and Phangnga provinces in February and October 1974 
(Holmes & Wells 1975). 

Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata 

One of each sex was collected by Ben King on Khao Luang in May 1965 
(providing the first records for Nakhon Si Thammarat — p. 377), but un- 
fortunately the specimens are inadequate for subspecific identification. The 
male is at an early stage of post- juvenile moult, and although the female 
matches some specimens of A. s. anomala racial differences are slight in this 

Yellow-backed Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja 

A specimen from inland Kelantan (Bonhote 1901, CMZ) proved on re- 
examination to be a male Scarlet Sunbird Aethopyga mjstacalis in post-juvenile 
moult, and thus does not invalidate our observation (p. 378) that in the 
Malaysian states the Yellow-backed Sunbird is confined to the coastal strip 
and islands. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 32 

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus 

Robinson (1928: 278) doubted the records published by Bonhote (1901) 
from the lowlands of Phatthalung and Kelantan (cf. Gibson-Hill 1949). On 
re-examination the specimens proved to be juvenile or female Orange- 
bellied Flowerpeckers Dicaeum trigonostigma (CMZ). Although finding no 
other basis for Deignan's (1963) inclusion of Phatthalung in the range of the 
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, we have retained the record (p. 386). Examples 
have been collected on the Trang side of the dividing range (Riley 1938: 514) 
and the species can hardly be absent from Phatthalung. 


The taxonomic content of this paper would not have been possible without access to 
study material via numerous loans from the museums listed in the introduction. We are 
indebted to the staff of these various institutions for their willing co-operation, and particu- 
larly to Mr. C. W. Benson and Drs. F. B. Gill, G. F. Mees, L. L. Short, S. Somadikarta and 
R. L. Zusi who at various times examined specimens or provided other data on our behalf. 


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gewiesenen vogel. Treubia 11: 89-146. 
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117: 275-284. 
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and subgenera of swifts (Aves: Apodidae). Durban Mus. Novit. 9: 13-24. 

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— 1972b. Geographical variation in palm swifts Cypsiurus spp. (Aves: Apodidae). 
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— 1947b. Some untenable names in the Old World flycatchers. Proc. biol. Soc. Wash. 60: 

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Delacour, J. & Jabouille, P. 1931. Les Oiseaux de Vlndochine Francaise. Paris: Exposition 

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Grant, C. H. B. & Mackworth-Praed, C. W. 1939. Some notes on eastern African birds. 

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33 {Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

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Pulau Perak, July 1973. Malay. Nat. J. 28: 13-17. 
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avian genera Apus and Cypsiurus. J. ent. Soc. sth. Africa 34: 37-56. 
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Mees, G. F. 1971. Systematic and faunistic remarks on birds from Borneo and Java, with 

new records. Zo'dl. Meded., Leiden 45 : 225-244. 

— (in press). Identiteit en status van Sterna bernsteini Schlcgel. Ardea. 

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sitzung 1 901. /. Orn., Lp%., 50: 121-125. 
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— 1938. Birds from Siam and the Malay Peninsula in the United States National Museum 
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[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 34 

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The subspecific status of the southern African 
populations of Streptopelia semitorquata (Riippell) 

by P. A. Clancey 

Received 18 December iyyj 

The large collared dove, the Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata (Riippell), 
of the Ethiopian Region ranges widely from Senegal in West Africa, east to 
Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, as well as Yemen in the southwest of the 
Arabian Peninsula, and south through Africa to the Cape. It was first shown 
as exhibiting geographical variation by von Erlanger (1905) and later by 
Grant (191 5), who was the first worker to review the species as a whole. 
Among later authors who dealt with the geographical variation of this dove 
in depth were Gyldenstolpe (1924), Friedmann (1930), Roberts (1935) and 
Chapin (1939). Friedmann believed only two subspecies warranted recog- 
nition: S. s. semitorquata (Riippell) 1837: Taranta Mts, Acchele Guzai, 
Eritrea, and S. s. minor (Erlanger) 1905 : Fanole and Kismayu, Somalia. His 
findings were in the main endorsed by Chapin, and both authors found little 
justification for the continued maintenance of a West African form, S. s. 
erythrophrys (Swainson) 1837: Senegal, as initially advocated by Grant and 
some later workers. Recent authors, notably White (1965) and very recently 
Nowak (1975), have gone so far as to maintain that, despite the readily 
demonstrable variation, races are not admissible. In turn, I do not find this 
latter view acceptable in the light of some recent work of my own. 

Examination of a large body of material from southern, central and eastern 
Africa effected in the Durban Museum indicates that individual variation in 
this dove is not inordinately high and has been seriously overstated by many 
workers. Characters assessed as of importance in arranging the populations 
in subspecific taxa are often quite well marked and geographically correlated. 
Variation in S. semitorquata affects general size, the level of saturation of both 
the upper- and under-parts and the extent of grey over the distal wing 
surfaces, but only the latter two constitute subspecifically significant para- 
meters. Wear and insolation result in a general browning and darkening 
of the plumage with the loss of the waxy greyish patina of the newly moulted 
feathering. Most marked is the loss of the bluish grey over the rump and 
upper tail-coverts. Many museum skins are now both foxed and affected by 
subtle grease staining. 

Roberts (1935) arranged the South African populations of the Red-eyed 
Dove in two subspecies on mensural characters, recognising a widely 

35 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

distributed race, S. s. australis Roberts 1932: Sekororo, Leydsdorp, eastern 
Transvaal, and a far western representative based on a singleton with a wing 
of 212 mm (S. s. maxima Roberts 1932: Toten-Maun road, northwestern 
Botswana). In proposing maxima Roberts appears to have been unduly 
influenced by incorrect wing-length data provided by Bocage in the case of 
the Angolan population (see Traylor i960). Peters (1937) merged australis 
with the nominate subspecies, but recognised maxima as "known only from 
the type locality". Both australis and maxima were treated as synonymous 
with S. s. semitorquata in my Catalogue (Clancey 1965) and in the S.A.O.S. 
Check List of the Birds of South Africa (1969) pending a reappraisal of their 

Roberts stated in 1932 that eastern southern African birds were sufficiently 
larger than topotypical semitorquata from Ethiopia as to warrant segregation 
under the name S. s. australis. In his later expose (Roberts 1935) he gives 
the wings of southern African birds (both £<$ and 9$) as ranging from 
183-204 mm. My own measurements for southern African specimens (from 
Rhodesia and Mo cambique, south to the Cape) are: <$£ 185-201,99 J 8i * 5-203 
mm. Ethiopian birds are not subspecifically different in size from those of 
southern Africa, averaging only slightly smaller, the wings of $<$ being 
180-195 • 5, 99 176-186- 5 mm (Table 1). On the basis of the criterion laid 
down in the original diagnosis, australis cannot be maintained by wing- 
length as discrete from semitorquata. However, my series shows that the 
relatively stable populations present over the plateau of Rhodesia and 
in extreme eastern Botswana, the Transvaal, Mo9ambique south of the 
Limpopo R. (with single examples of S. s. semitorquata cropping up in the 
littoral populations present as far south as Durban and the Transkei), 
Swaziland, the Orange Free State, the lowlands of Lesotho, Natal and Zulu- 
land, and the Cape (mainly in the east and south, locally west to the Berg R.) 
differ sufficiently in various colour characters to justify their recognition as 
a subspecies, for which Roberts' S. s. australis can be employed. 

S. s. australis as here denned is seen as being paler than S. s. semitorquata, in 
this respect resembling S. s. minor of southern Somalia and the coast lands of 
Kenya and northeastern Tanzania. Compared with semitorquata, australis is 
whiter over the forehead and face, the hind and lateral surfaces of the head 
and neck are paler vinaceous, the rest of the dorsum is distinctly lighter and 
greyer in newly moulted condition (about the greyish Drab of Ridgway 
(191 2) (pi. xlvi), as against Olive-Brown (pi. xl)), and the rump and upper 
tail-coverts are lighter and bluer, less leaden, grey. Ventrally, the chin and 
throat are whiter, and the lower fore-throat, breast and sides are more 
lavender, less markedly vinaceous or vinous pink (close to Light Vinaceous 
Drab (pi. xlv), as against Brownish Drab), while the grey of the abdomen, 
flanks, crissum and under tail-coverts is again markedly paler. In the wings, 
the general facies is paler with more extensively distributed and lighter blue- 
grey over the lesser, median and secondary coverts and tertials, while the 
axillars and under wing-coverts are less blackish slate. 

Viewed in series, paler general colouration, whiter chin and upper fore- 
throat, paler grey under tail-coverts, and more extensively distributed grey 
in the wings differentiate australis from semitorquata. Its range is as defined 

Nominate S. semitorquata replaces australis in Mozambique from north of 
the Limpopo R. and from the Zambesi R. valley of Rhodesia, northern 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


Botswana in the Okavango Swamp region and the Caprivi Strip northwards. 
As noted above, the influence of this dark race is evident as far south as 
Durban, Natal, and the humid coastal region of the Transkei (Pondoland). 

In placing the Botswana and Caprivi element with nominate semitorquata I 
have given careful consideration to the probable validity of S. s. maxima, 
named on a single skin procured during the course of the Vernay-Lang 
Kalahari Expedition of 1930. Table 1 shows that this population ranges 
much longer in wing-length than any other, as first demonstrated by Roberts 
and confirmed in the main by Irwin & Benson (1967). While the wing-lengths 
of 196-210 for ££ and 193-203 mm for $$ of the "maxima" population 


The wing-length (mm) in selected populations of the Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semi- 
torquata arranged in a south-north sequence. 
Population n Range mean S.D. S.E. 

E. Cape & Natal 


S. s, 



186- 5-201 




S. Mozambique & 
E. Transvaal 





2- 06 

1 • 12 


Transvaal (except E. lowlands) 







I -20 









N.W. Rhodesia, Caprivi, 
N. Botswana, etc. 


S. s. semitorquata 
64 196-210 
99 193-203 

202 -o 


1 -ii 








S.E. Zaire (mainly ex 
Verheyen 1953) 








Angola (ex Traylor) 






Malawi (ex Irwin & Benson) 



I 73~ I 93 




Tanzania & Kenya 







I -22 

Ethiopia (mainly ex 




180-195 -5 



I -36 


show a considerable overlap with many neighbouring and even with distant 
populations, especially those of S. s. australis, the means are significantly 
greater than those of any other population of the species (^ 202-0, $$ 
195-5 mm). Skins with wings in excess of 198 mm from beyond what 
appear to be the limits of maxima are all from immediately contiguous regions 
such as central Angola, Zambia and southeastern Zaire. The geographical 
sector occupied by maxima contains other large-sized avian subspecies, and 
the Red-eyed Dove appears simply to be following a similar trend for reasons 
not yet obvious. 

It is worthy of note that the population named maxima in the first instance 
is deeply coloured, resembling in this regard nominate semitorquata, in 
contradistinction to the populations occurring further south. 

37 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 

Statistically, maxima just fails to attain the critical (75 %) limit for the 
recognition of mensural subspecies (Amadon 1949). Compared with Ethiopian 
specimens (topotypical of S. s. semitorquata), using a student's t-test, males of 
maxima have a value of 7 • 38 and females 9 • 14, in both instances P being far 
below -ooi: showing that males do not meet Amadon's requirements for 
formal subspecific recognition, whereas females do, though their standard 
ranges indicate too much overlap to justify recognition of "maxima" on the 
basis of large size in the female alone. The prudent course of action in the 
present case appears to be to merge S. s. maxima with S. s. semitorquata, in so 
doing recognising only semitorquata and australis from the South African 

With the recognition of a southern African race of the Red-eyed Dove, the 
species is now comprised of three subspecies : S. s. semitorquata, S. s. minor 
and S. s. australis. The present nominate subspecies may be divisible into 
western and eastern elements along the lines originally laid down by Grant, 
as it is noted that S. s. erytbropbrys is admitted by Mackworth-Praed & Grant 
(1952). The races and their synonyms will now stand as follows : 

(a) Streptopelia semitorquata semitorquata (Ruppell), 1837. Synonyms: Turtur 
erytbropbrys Swainson, 1837, Turtur shelleyi Salvadori, 1893, Turtur 
semitorquatus intermedius Erlanger, 1905, Streptopelia semitorquata 
elgonensis Granvik, 1923, Streptopelia semitorquata maxima Roberts, 

(b) Streptopelia semitorquata minor (Erlanger), 1905 ; 

(c) Streptopelia semitorquata australis Roberts, 1932. 

I am grateful to Dr. A. C. Kemp of the Transvaal Museum, Pretoria and 
Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin, National Museum of Rhodesia, Bulawayo, for the 
loan of additional specimens. 


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[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 38 

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Verheyen, R. 1953. Exploration du Pare National de l'Upemba, Mission G. F. de Witte, 

fasc. 19: 298-300. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check List of African Non-Passerine Birds: 156, 157. 


Sympatric Cisticola spp. and the 
competition exclusion principle 

by W. R.J. Dean 

Received 20 December 197 j 

Although the grassland warblers of Africa, Cisticola spp. are morphologically 
very similar, they differ in choice of habitat in most cases. However, in the 
Transvaal, South Africa, five species of Cisticola occur in open grassland 
(Bankenveld, or Cymbopogon-Themeda Veld — Acocks 1953). Although they 
can be found together, three of the species have distinct habitat preferences ; 
Cisticola juncidis occurs in moist grassland, C. brunnescens in short moist 
grassland, and C. aridula in dry grassland. The remaining two, C. ayresii and 
C. textrix occur in short dry grassland, and do not have obvious differences 
in habitat preference. Further, apart from distinctive displays of the breeding 
males, they are virtually impossible to distinguish in the field. These two 
species possibly represent an exception to the ecological principle of com- 
petitive exclusion. 

Measurements of culmen, wing and tarsus of museum specimens of C. 
ayresii and C. textrix were obtained for birds from the area of sympatry in 
the Transvaal and from areas of allopatry. The measurements were tested 
with a Students "t" test to show whether differences between the species and 
between sub-species were statistically significant, with the following results : 

(a) Males of C. textrix are larger than males of C. ayresii in an area of 
sympatry (Table 1). The differences are consistent but never more than 12%. 

Differences in culmen, wing and tarsus measurements (mm) of C. textrix major and C. 

C. t. major C. ayresii 

mean S.D. n mean S.D. n Difference 























20 -6 






I 'O 





























1.7 •. 1 





Male C. ayresii tested against female C. textrix major: Culmen P<*ooi, Wing 
not significant, Tarsus P<-02. 

(b) C. textrix major of the Transvaal is generally larger, statistically so in 
the case of wing measurements, than C. t. textrix of the Cape province 
(Table 2), but there is no significant difference in the culmen and wing sizes 
of C. ayresii from different parts of Southern Africa (Table 3). 

39 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 


Differences in culmen, wing and tarsus measurements (mm) of C. textrix textrix tested 
against C. textrix major. 

Males Females 

mean S.D. n Difference mean S.D. n Difference 


I2'I ± 



P<-02 n-7 ± 





5i-4 ± 



P<-ooi 47-0 ± 





20*2 ± 

I -o 


n.s. 19-1 ± 
= not significant 

I -02 




Differences in culmen and wing measurements of C. ayresii collected in Rhodesia, Natal 
and the eastern Cape. 

Culmen Wings 

Males Females Males Females 

mean S.D. n mean S.D. n mean S.D. n mean S.D. n 

Rhodesia 1 1 • 3 ± • 5 9 33 

11 -2±o-6o 19 



46-6±i-o 19 

Natal 1 1 • 5 ± • 44 8 



E. Cape ii-7±o-68 26 

n-3±o-5i 15 

49 ' 3 ± 1 • 5 


44-6±2-i 15 

Total including 1 1 • 4 ± • 5 3 82 

ii-3±o-5i 50 



45'9± 1 '7 5° 


These mensural differences neither support nor give exception to the 
competitive exclusion principle, but the premises that morphological 
measurements reflect the ecology of a species must be accepted if inferences 
about competitive exclusion are to be made from such measurements. The 
latter may reflect gross differences in ecology, but are clumsy and do not 
show up subtle differences in structure, and indeed may mask differences 
between similar species. Further, there are no standards defining the degree 
of mensural difference which is sufficient to indicate lack of competition. 

The exclusion principle depends, at least partly, upon competition between 
species for limited resources. The limiting factors operating upon Cisticolas 
in the Transvaal grasslands may occur at times other than when the two 
species are observed together in the breeding season. In open grassland 
where the food supply may be super-abundant in the breeding season, 
neither food nor Space may be a limiting factor then, though possibly so at 
another stage in the life cycle. Alternatively, the populations of the two 
species of Cisticola may somehow be being maintained at a low level so that 
they do not come into competition, as for example in sessile marine inverte- 
brates (Paine 1966) and for ungulate mammals (Wagner 1969). 


For the loan of specimens and the opportunity to measure Cisticolas, I am grateful to the 
Directors of the following institutions: National Museums of Rhodesia, Salisbury and 
Bulawayo; Transvaal Museum; Durban Museum; East London Museum and the South 
African Museum. Dr. S. M. Hirst provided advice on statistical tests. I thank C. J. Vernon 
and I. A, W. Macdonald for advice and criticism of a draft of this note. 

References : 

Acocks, J. H. P. 1953. Veld types of South Africa. Bot. Surv. Mem. 28. Pretoria: Govt. 

Paine, R. T. 1966. Food web complexity and species diversity. Amer. Nat. 100: 65-75. 
Wagner, F. H. 1969. Ecosystems concepts in fish and game management. In "The ecosystem 

concept in Natural Resource Management" (Ed. G. M. van Dyne). Academic Press, 

New York. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(1)] 40 


(a) A Ringed Woodpecker Celeus torquatus in Colombia 

The Ringed Woodpecker Celeus torquatus has been recorded widely in low- 
land tropical South America east of the Andes but curiously from only one 
locality in Colombia (Meyer de Schauensee 1 964, 1 966) : two females and a 
male at rio Guapaya at the eastern base of the Sierra Macarena, Meta (Blake 

On 19 July 1975, we found a female Celeus torquatus about six km north of 
Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia in mature "tierra firma" forest about two km 
from "La Carretera". It was foraging 30 m above ground near the canopy on 
a main trunk of a living tree in an area where there had been some tree- 
felling in the past and 200 m from a man-made clearing in the forest. The 
bird was studied with a 20-power telescope for ten minutes by ourselves and 
eight other ornithologists. Several photographs were obtained by the 
second author; although not of good quality due to low light levels, the 
diagnostic features of black collar around the neck, the mainly chestnut tail, 
the tawny unmarked belly, the light rufous, crested head, the yellow bill, 
and the chestnut wings with dark spotting can all be discerned in the photo- 
graphs, distinguishing C. torquatus from all other Celeus species. The lack of 
barring on the belly indicates that this individual belonged to the western 
race occidentalis. 

Although C. torquatus is widely recorded east of the Andes, specimens are 
few in number and it is apparently rare throughout its range, Haverschmidt 
(1968) for instance reporting that it is one of the rarest woodpeckers in 
Surinam. Thus perhaps the gaps in the presently known range are a function 
of the general rarity of the species rather than indicative of a truly disjunctive 

References : 

Blake, E. R. 1962. Birds of the Sierra Macarena, eastern Colombia. Fieldiana (Zoology) 44: 

Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds oj Surinam. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 
Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1964. The birds of Colombia. Narberth, Pennsylvania: Livingston. 
— 1966. The species of birds of South America with their distribution. Narberth, Pennsylvania: 


J. V. Remsen, Jr. 
J *c ***1 John S.Luther 
6 December 1975 Don Roberson 

(b) Halcyon "ruficollaris" 

In Bull. Br. Orn. CI. 94 (1974) : 147 I proposed the name Halcyon ruficollaris for 
a kingfisher from Mangaia, southern Cook Islands. I am grateful to Murray 
D. Bruce for pointing out that this name is a homonym of Alcyone ruficollaris 
Bankier 1 841 , Ann. <& Mag. Nat. Hist. 6 : 394, from Port Essington, Northern 
Territory, Australia. The latter is now regarded as a subspecies or synonym 
of Halcyon sancta Vigors & Horsfield. The following replacement name is 
therefore proposed for the Mangaia kingfisher: 

Halcyon mangaia nom. nov. 

16 December 1975 D. T. Holyoak 


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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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ISSN 0007-1595 

o P «< f0 , 



Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 96 No. 2 

June 1976 


Tuesday, 20 July 1976 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, 
London, W.i. (between Old Bond Street and Dover Street, near Green Park tube station). 
Mr. Robert Gillmor will speak on Bird Illustration. Cheques for the cost of dinner (£2 -25 
a head) must be sent to the Hon. Secretary before the meeting. 

Tuesday, 21 September 1976 -3X 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Senior Common Room, South 
Side, Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance Prince's Gardens, S.W.7, off Exhi- 
bition Road and N. of Victoria and Albert Museum). Dr. M. P. Harris will speak on St. 
Kilda Puffins. Cheques for the cost of dinner (£2-95 a head) must be sent to the Hon. 
Secretary before the meeting. 

Tuesday, 16 November 1976. Dr. H. N. Southern will speak on the Tawny Owl at the 
Senior Common Room, South Side, Imperial College. 

Tuesday, 18 January 1977. Dr. Peter Ward will speak on Palaearctic migrants in Nigeria. 

Tuesday, 1 j March 1977. Mr. J. M. Forshaw will speak on the ecology of parrots in 
Australia with emphasis on adaptations to changing environments. 


J. H. Elgood {Chairman) P. Hogg {Vice-Chair man) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) M. St. J. Sugg {Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk {Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison C. E. Wheeler 

Dr. G. Beven 



41 [BulI.B.O.C.r 97 6: 9 (,(t)\ 

Bulletin of the 


Vol.96 No. 2 Published: 18 June 1976 

The six hundred and ninety-ninth meeting of the Club was held at the Goat Tavern, 3 
Stafford Street, London, W.i at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 March 1976. 

Chairman: Mr. P. Hogg: present 10 members and 2 guests. 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison spoke on eggs, drawing attention to a number of questions 
concerning birds' eggs to which no satisfactory solutions had yet been discovered. He 
illustrated his talk with examples of various types of egg. 

The seven hundredth meeting of the Club was held at Imperial College, London, S.W.7 at 
6.45 p.m. on Tuesday 4 May, 1976. 

Chairman: Professor J. H. Elgood, m.a., present 27 members and 16 guests. 

There was a symposium on African birds, opened by Mrs. B. P. Hall, who spoke on the 
remarkable richness of species in African thorn-bush scrub, contrasting it with the fewer 
species in similar habitat in Australia. She pointed out the very great degree of specialization 
of species in this (and other) habitats in Africa. 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e., followed and explained that recent observations of 
Palaearctic migrants in southern Kenya (Ibis 118 : 78-105) had opened a new viewpoint on 
migration in Africa. He compared the birds reported in that paper with those he had found 
in a study area to the west of Kilimanjaro 35 to 40 years ago. 

Mr. C. C. H. Elliott then spoke on the migration of quelea that breed around Fort Lamy 
in Chad and the reduction of the damage they do to crops in irrigated farmland obtained 
by advancing the harvesting of these crops to a time before the birds arrived. 

Mr. C. W. Benson, o.b.e., discussed the avifauna of Madagascar. He supported the view 
that the Malagasy area forms a separate zoogeographical region, citing the presence of a 
number of species in Madagascar which are Asiatic or with Asiatic affinities and the 
surprisingly small association with the birds of the African continent. He also spoke on the 
degree of speciation in Madagascar. 

The addresses gave rise to interesting and wide-ranging discussions. 
The eightv-fourth Annual General Meeting of the British Ornithologists' Club was held at 
Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday, 4 May 1976 at 5.45 p.m. with Professor 
J. H. Elgood, m.a., in the chair. Eleven members were present. 

The minutes of the eighty-third Annual General Meeting (Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95 : 89-90) 
were approved and signed. 

Presenting the Report of the Committee for 1975, the Hon. Secretary stated that the 
comparatively small numbers attending meetings were a cause of continuing difficulty in 
obtaining a reasonably priced dinner: the Goat Tavern at a little over £2 per head was an 
exception in this respect but its capacity was not large, particularly if slides were to be shown. 
Prices could not be fixed far ahead because of inflation and at no place where the Club now 
met would the caterers undertake collection from members of the charge for dinner, which 
had now to be done by the Club. 

The Hon. Treasurer presented the Accounts for 1975. The larger receipts from sub- 
scriptions has resulted from the increased rates of subscription that came into effect for that 
year. Owing to changes in deeds of covenant, there had been no claim for recovery of 
income tax made in the last year but he had since rendered claims covering two years for a 
total of £1 8 5, of which £88 would have been receivable in 1975. He expressed the Club's 
thanks to Mr. E. W. Mudge for his donation of £51. Membership continued to increase 
and there had already been 20 new members or Bulletin subscribers in the current year. 

The Chairman thanked the Hon. Treasurer for the considerable amount of work he 
continued to do for the Club, despite his move awav from the Home Counties to Somerset 
last year. On the Chairman's proposal, the Report of the Committee and Accounts for 1975 
were received and adopted unanimously. 

There being no nominations additional to those of the Committee, the following were 
declared elected: — 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr. M. St. J. Sugg, m.a. (re-elected) 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. R. E. F. Peal (re-elected) 

Committee: Dr. G. Beven, m.d., vice Mr. J. H. R. Boswall, who retired by rotation. 

The Editor reported that the average interval between receipt of an acceptable paper and 
its publication in the Bulletin was about six months, which compared very favourably with 
most other ornithological journals of a similar standing. Sir Hugh Elliott reported that 
orders for back-numbers were keeping up fairly well. Two numbers of Vol. 89, of which 
stocks had been exhausted, were reprinted in 1975. 

The meeting closed at 6.10 p.m. 

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[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 44 

Remarks on the validity of 
Carpodacus roseus sachalinensis Portenko 

by M, Ralph Browning 

Received ij December 197J 
Pallas' Rose Finch Carpodacus roseus (Pallas), 1776, (type locality — Uda and 
Selenga rivers, Transbaicalia) of south-central and southeastern Siberia is 
rare in collections and little has been written about it. The species occurs in 
summer as far north as the mountains of the middle fork of the Nizhnyaya 
Tunguska River, northeast to Yakutia, south to the Sayan Mountains near 
Lake Baikal, the Stanovoi Mountains in Amurland, and Sakhalin Island. In 
winter it is found south to western Siberia, northern China, Korea, and Japan 
(Berne 1954). Details concerning its breeding behaviour remain unknown. 

Although the species is now considered monomorphic (Paynter 1968), the 
population of Sakhalin Island and the Okhotsk littoral has been named C. r. 
sachalinensis by Portenko (i960), on the basis of specimens collected outside 
the breeding months. A more detailed description of the race was published 
subsequently (Portenko 1962). The holotype of sachalinensis (ZIAS 61935), 
which I have examined, is an adult male collected on the shore of Nyisku 
Bay (5 2 N), eastern Sakhalin Island, on 29 August 1881. Portenko described 
the adult males of sachalinensis as darker than nominate roseus; first year 
males and adult females of sachalinensis were also said to be darker and to 
have more white on the belly with the streaks of the underparts broader and 
darker. The wing length (chord?) was said to be shorter than in nominate 
roseus, the mean for adult males being 90 • 7 mm (n= 5 5) for the nominate race 
against 86-8 mm (n=3) for sachalinensis; whereas for females and immatures 
the means were said to be smaller than those of adult males and smaller in 

Paynter (1968), even though he had not seen specimens, placed sachalinensis 
in synonymy with C. roseus, considering that the published characters of 
sachalinensis were insufficient to justify its recognition. However, I recently 
discovered several noticeably dark individuals among specimens of C. roseus 
in the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, suggesting that a more 
thorough investigation of Portenko's race was warranted. 

Specimens were borrowed from eleven museums to compliment the series 
in the National Museum and a total of 1 29 specimens of C. roseus, including 
the holotype and part of the type series of C. r. sachalinensis, were examined, 
all of which were collected between late August and April, or outside the 
probable breeding period of the species. Examination confirms the fact that 
there is a dark population. Unfortunately, the holotype of sachalinensis does 
not appear to represent birds from the dark population, so that the name 
must be considered a synonym of C. roseus. 

The holotype of sachalinensis was compared with 45 other adult males of 
C. roseus. Although it is in fairly heavy moult (see later) I found that the back, 
rump, and underparts are similar in colour to specimens of nominate roseus 
collected in autumn, winter and spring. Critical comparison of individual 
body feathers of the specimens revealed that the intensity of the red coloration 
does not vary seasonally. Fourteen of the 45 adult males are noticeably darker 
than nominate roseus and the holotype of sachalinensis in the colour of the 
rump, crown, and underparts. The edges of the secondaries are white in the 
dark specimens, whereas in nominate roseus and the holotype of sachalinensis 
these edges are brownish. The paleness and the brownish edges of the 

4 5 

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[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 46 

secondaries of the holotype of sachalinensis are well within the range of 
individual variation of specimens from western Siberia, which, according 
to Portenko are nominate roseus. Contrary to Portenko, I found no significant 
differences in wing chord between pale and dark specimens (Table 1). 

The pallor of the holotype of sachalinensis might be attributed to the age 
of the skin, but the possibility of fading was carefully considered and was 
rejected for the following reasons. There are specimens from western Siberia 
of the same skin age that are darker than the holotype of sachalinensis. Also, 
there are specimens from the same series of nominate roseus that are paler 
than the holotype of sachalinensis although they were collected more recently. 
In the series of 14 dark males, the darkest specimens are not those most 
recently collected. 

Portenko reported that "sachalinensis" breeds on Sakhalin Island on the 
basis of nests and eggs collected by Gizenko (1955), but did not see them 
himself. They have been examined by Vorobiev (1973), who identified them 
as belonging to Uragus sibiricus, the Long-tailed Rose Finch. Portenko (1962) 
suggested that "sachalinensis" also breeds on the Shantar Islands in the Gulf 
of Udsk. However, an adult male (ZIAS 61921), collected on Great Shantar 
Island on 28 April 1926, presumedly examined by Portenko, is labelled as 
nominate roseus and is similar to other specimens of the pale population. 

Since the available specimens represent either transients or winter visitors, 
the breeding range of the population represented by the dark specimens is 
unknown. Although probable, it is also uncertain that the dark specimens 
are a product of geographic variation. According to Dr. V. A. Nechaev {fide 
A. I. Ivanov in lift, to G. E. Watson) C. roseus may nest in the mountains of 
northern or central Sakhalin Island, and it is this population that possibly 
may have produced the dark specimens. This is further suggested by the fact 
that all the dark specimens collected as transients or winter visitors were 
from either Korea, Hokkaido, Japan, or Sakhalin Island. 

Moult in C. roseus takes place in early fall. The holotype of "sachalinensis" 
is in fairly heavy moult. All its rectrices are in sheaths except the two central 
ones, which are new. Also in sheath are many upper tail coverts, back, neck, 
and breast feathers, tertials, and most of the secondaries. The inner seven 
primaries on both wings are new. Sheaths are visible at the base of the fourth 
and seventh inner primaries of both wings. The inner eighth primaries are 
about half grown. Both of the ninth and tenth primaries are old. An adult 
male, however, collected in late September has all new flight feathers. An 
immature male collected in September and one immature male and three 
females taken in October have already completed moult in the flight feathers. 
Two specimens collected near Seoul, Korea, are unusual. One of these, an 
immature male collected in December, has all new rectrices which are about 
three-quarters grown except for the left rectrices numbers 3, 5 and 6. In the 
second and unsexed specimen, an immature or possibly an adult female, all 
the rectrices are new and half grown. These last two specimens are probably 
replacing feathers lost during some injury. None of the other specimens in 
the series of C. roseus examined in this study were in moult. 


I express sincere gratitude for the loan of comparative specimens to the authorities of the 
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris), Natur-Museum und Forschungsinstitut 
(Frankfurt), Staatliches Museum fur Tierkunde (Dresden), Museum Heineanum (Halber- 
stadt), Universitat Hamburg, Universitetets Zoologiske Museum (Copenhagen), British 
Museum (Natural History, Tring), Royal Scottish Museum (Edinburgh), Museum of 
Vertebrate Zoology (Berkeley, California), and the California Academy of Sciences (San 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

Francisco). I wish especially to thank Prof. A. I. Ivanov of the Zoological Institute of the 
Academy of Sciences (ZIAS) in Leningrad for the loan of the holotype and other specimens 
used by Portenko, and to thank him and N. Litvinenko of the Far Eastern Science Centre 
at Vladivostok, E. G. F. Sauer, F. W. Merkel, and C. W. Benson for providing information 
about the species and locating specimens. R. C. Banks arranged for the loan of specimens in 
the United States. I am grateful to G. E. Watson who arranged for the loan of the other 
specimens and queried many more museums about specimens on my behalf as well as reading 
a late version of the manuscript; and to S. Olson and J. Farrand, Jr., who read an earlier 
draft and for their encouragement and many useful suggestions. 
References : 
Berne, L. B. 1954. Family Fringillidae, pp. 183-363. InG. P. Dementiev & N. A. Gladkov 

(eds.). Birds of the Soviet Union. Vol. 5. Moscow (English translation, Israel Prog. 

Sci. Translations). 
Gizenko, A. I. 1955. Birds of the Sakhalin Region. Moscow, Acad. Sci., U.S.S.R. (In Russian) 
Paynter, R. A., Jr. 1968. Subfamily Carduelinae, pp. 207-306. In R. A. Paynter, Jr. (ed.). 

Checklist of Birds of the World. Vol. 14. Mus. Comp. Zool., Cambridge, Mass. 
Portenko, L. A. i960. The Birds of the U.S.S.R. Part 4. Opredelieli po Faune S.S.S.R., Acad. 

Sci., U.S.S.R., 69. (In Russian) 
Portenko, L. A. 1962. New subspecies of passerine birds (Avcs, Passeriformes). Trudy 

Zool. Inst. Acad. Sci., U.S.S.R. 30: 385-394. (In Russian) 
Vorobiev, K. A. 1973. On some errors in ornithological studies. Zool. Journ. 52: 955- 

957. (In Russian) 
Address: National Fish & Wildlife Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, 

Washington D.C. 20560, U.S.A. 

On a variety of the Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 
from Northern England 

by Eric Gorton 

Received 10 December rp/j 
A male example of the Moorhen Gallinula chloropus obtained at Bolton, 
Lancashire, which I examined first in the flesh, presented a number of 
remarkably symmetrical aberrant features of plumage. The legs and bill also 

Aberrant Moorhen (below) Gallinula chloropus from Northen England 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 48 

were particularly noticeable for their variation from the normal colouring. 
The specimen was extremely fat. It is now in the ornithological collections 
of the Bolton Museum, presented by Mr. P. Holden on 29 October 1973. 

The underparts differ markedly from the normal form. The flanks and 
thighs are of the normal leaden grey colour with white flashes at the side, 
but the chin, throat, neck, breast and belly are white with a grey tone on the 
belly and some slight grey edging to the feathers of the breast. However, the 
most remarkable feature is the absence of white on the under tail coverts, 
which are uniformly blackish. What is generally taken as the most important 
identification and display character of the Moorhen is thus entirely lacking. 

The upper parts also differ markedly from normal. The ground colour is a 
fairly neutral deep grey with only a slight tint of the olive brown of the back 
characteristic of the usual plumage. At each side of the mantle is a line of 
whitish feathers, forming an indistinct rough V, while the tertials are also 
whitish with a pale brown suffusion and dark grey edges and shaft lines. 

A striking feature of the fresh specimen was the abnormal colouring of the 
soft parts. Instead of greenish, the legs were of a fairly bright yellow (4A6-7 
in Kornerup & Wanscher, "Methuen Handbook of Colour" 1963), the toes 
being of the same colour with dusky joints and claws. The bill was yellow 
at the base (4A6) with a tinge of red in the middle (8B7), while the tip was of 
a warm olive colour (3C7). There was no evidence of a red "garter" or of the 
normal red on the "shield" of the bill. The shield itself is smaller than usual. 

In view of the present interest in the bearing of aberrant examples on 
phylogenetics, the similarity of certain aspects of the present specimen to the 
immature plumage of the Coot Fulica atra and the adult of the White-breasted 
Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus should be noted. 
Address: Museum and Art Gallery, Civic Centre, Bolton, Lanes. 

Breeding records of Crex egregia, Myrmecocichla nigra 

and Cichladusa ruficauda from Angola. 

byW. R.J. Dean 

Received 20 December 197J 
In view of the paucity of breeding data for the birds of Angola, the following 
breeding records are of interest. 
Crex egregia African Crake 

An unidentified crake, accompanied by two downy young, was seen 
crossing the road near Quihita, 15 24' S, 14 00' E, on 2 May 1973, where 
the habitat was mostly tall, dry Hyparrhenia spp. grass c. 2 m high. One of the 
young was examined in the hand, and was subsequently identified as this 
species by Manfred Schmitt (pers. comm.) from the description I noted down 
at the time. 

This record extends the known distribution of the African Crake in Angola 
westward of previously known localities (Traylor 1963), and appears to be 
the first breeding record in Angola. 
Myrmecocichla nigra Black Chat 

A nest containing three young about two days old was found just south of 
Guilherme Capelo, Cabinda, 5 13' S, 12 10' E, on 21 August 1972. The nest 
was a cup of coarse grass lined with rootlets and was in a chamber at the end 
of a 30 cm tunnel sloping upwards at an angle of about 20 from the hori- 
zontal, in a sand bank. 

49 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

On a journey by road from Carmona, 7 36' S, 15 03' E, to Mavoio, 
6° 05' S, 1 5 02' E, on 29 August 1973, several Black Chats were observed 
at nest holes in sand banks on the road verge. One such nest, at about 1 1 km 
south of Mavoio, contained two naked young in a cup of grass and rootlets, 
placed at the end of a horizontal tunnel 2 5 cm long. 

A Black Chat was seen carrying nest material to a nest excavated in the 
roof of an Ant-bear Orycteropus afer burrow at Cangandala National Park, 
Malanje, (at approximately 9 47' S, 16 41' E), on 28 August 1972. 

Traylor (1963) gives the breeding season of Black Chats in Angola as 
September to November, but evidently breeding in August may be regular. 
Cichladusa ruficauda Rufous-tailed Morning Warbler 

There are few breeding data of this common species. A pair were building 
the early stages of a nest on a small ledge in a limestone outcrop in the forest 
west of Carmona on 28 August 1973 (Dean 1974, Appendix II). Both birds 
used a series of perches as staging posts when covering the last 20 m from 
the source of the nest material (mud) to the nest. 

Two eggs taken from a deserted nest near Luanda, 8° 48' S, 13 14' E, 
on 12 May 1973 are pale greenish white, freckled with pinky marks, the 
markings heavier and tending towards blotches on the obtuse end of the 
egg. The eggs measure 23-7 x 16-2 and 24-1 x 16-5 mm. They were still 
fairly fresh. Chapin (1953) and Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1973) describe 
the eggs similarly, but give no measurements. 

Traylor (1963) gives one record of C. ruficauda breeding in Angola — a nest 
and young in January. The Instituto de Investigacao Cientifica de Angola 
has one egg of this species collected on 8 December 1965. Four males in the 
I.I.C.A. collection examined by me had gonads enlarging in August, October 
and November. Evidently the breeding season is prolonged, perhaps even 
longer than the period October to April given by Chapin (1953) for the 

I am grateful to the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 
for the opportunity to make these notes. 

References : 

Chapin, J. P. 1953. The birds of the Belgian Congo, 3. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. His. 75a.. 

Dean, W. R. J. 1974. Breeding and distributional notes on some Angolan birds. Durban 

Mus. Novit. 10(8): 109-125. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1973. Birds of West Central and Western 

Africa. Longmans London. 
Traylor, M. A. 1963. Check-list of Angolan birds. Publ. Cult. Comp. Diam. Ang. 61. 

Address: Barberspan Ornithological Research Station, P.O. Barberspan, S. Africa. 

Observations on Pel's Fishing Owl Scotopelia peli 
by L. H. Brown 

Received 2) December ip/j 

Pel's Fishing Owl Scotopelia peli is a widespread, but apparently uncommon 
and local riverine species of lowland tropical Africa, extending from eastern 
Cape Province north to Ethiopia and west to Senegal. Since little has been 
written on this species, and since much published information seems highly 
misleading, this note summarises what has been learned of this owl in south- 
west Ethiopia in 1968-70 and in Botswana in 1971. The only other place in 
which I have ever come across this owl (not recorded by me in 30 years 
residence in Kenya) was on the Obe river in the Niger flood plains between 
Agenebode and Illushi on 24 Feb 1945. Ill with malaria, I sent out my Hausa 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 50 

syce Momo, with two cartridges, to collect Hartlaub's Duck Pteronetta 
hartlaubii. He returned with a Tiger Bittern Tigriornis kucolopha and Pel's 
Owl — as nice a right and left as any collector could have wished for. He had 
blown off the head of the owl completely at very close range ; but its identity 
was confirmed by examining the rest of the body, notably by wing length. 

S. W. ETHIOPIA 1 968-1 970. The sonorous hoot of Pel's Fishing Owl 
was first heard in 1968, but the bird was not seen. My brother, G. H. H. 
Brown, later confirmed that the call we had heard was of the owl, as one 
came and hooted in a tree close to his house in Omo Valley National Park in 
late 1968. In 1969, between 19 and 30 January, a pair of the owls was located 
just above the Park headquarters along the Mwi river; and safaris up river 
established that there was a pair about every 6-7 km of river. The Mwi river 
in this area in January is a clear stream flowing in a wide torrent bed of 
stones, grown with patches of Sesbania shrubs and tall reeds Saccharum sp. 
Along the permanent banks are patches of forest, principally Cat-claw 
Acacia A. campy lacantha, but also huge fig trees Ficus (mallatocarpa ?) and 
broad leaved evergreens notably Tamarindus indica. These patches of forest 
were regular daytime haunts of the owls. 

The owls were hard to locate by day but at night could be heard calling 
up and down river. The call is distinctive and quite unmistakable but bears 
little relationship to published descriptions. Mackworth-Praed & Grant 
(1952), describe it as "a sort of snoring, humming sound, not unlike that 
made at times by leopards ; also a hoot rising to a loud screech, ending in a 
terrifying wail". Roberts (1972) is even more imaginative. Having described 
a "boo-hoo" and a crescendo staccato "kuu-ku-ku" (which bear some 
resemblance to calls described later), he states "at night this gives way to a 
weird screechy howl, which rises to a nerve-shattering crescendo, to peter 
out like the cry of a lost soul falling into a bottomless pit". It appears more 
likely that these calls refer to the notes of Verreaux's Eagle Owl Bubo lacteus, 
and perhaps the mewing of the Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidiumperlatum. They 
certainly bear no resemblance whatever to the normal contact calls of Pel's 
Fishing Owl. This is a deep sonorous hoot, sometimes preceded and often 
followed by a low grunt "Hooommmmm-hut", the hoot being audible at 
much greater range (up to 3 km on a still night) than the grunt. The sexes 
call in different tones, one tenor, the other deeper and more sonorous; 
without certain knowledge it is assumed that the male has the higher-pitched 
voice. The owls along the Mwi seldom called before 22.00 hrs., and not often 
before midnight; they were most vociferous between 03.00 and 05.00 hrs. 
These normal contact calls were quite different from the duets heard later in 

Above the Omo Park headquarters at German Sefer, a pair ranged along 
the Mwi river for about 4 km at least. Their main daytime roost was about 
\\ km above the headquarters in two broad-leaved forest trees, sometimes in 
a grove of huge fig trees close to this clump. Once one, probably the male, 
was found roosting in figs only \ km above Park headquarters. When roost- 
ing, they allowed approach to within 10 m before flying and were very 
conservative, invariably being found in the same area even after being repeat- 
edly disturbed. When disturbed by day they readily flew several hundred 
metres, and would perch on open branches of Acacia tortilis in full sunlight, 
without apparent discomfort. The owls were found in the same area again 
between 10 and 17 Feb 1970; but in March 1973 the forest trees which were 
their regular preferred roost had been lopped to hang up honey barrels, and 

5 1 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

they were nowehere to be found in the neighbourhood, nor were they heard. 
Apparently the disturbance of their roost made them move some distance. 

Although stated by some authorities (e.g. Sparks & Soper 1970) to be 
largely diurnal, neither in Ethiopia nor in Botswana were they other than 
entirely nocturnal. They were never seen hunting by day, were normally not 
on the move before dark, and roosted by dawn. On two evenings, 18.15 — 
18.30 hrs, one was seen perched on a dead fig tree above a pool near the 
roost, apparently having emerged to fish; but this was unusual. On most 
evenings, waiting till near dusk near the roost revealed no activity by the 
owls. As the valley of the Mwi river at that point was alive with buffalo, and 
as the river contained large crocodiles, observation was not continued after 
dark. The shallow pools of the river at this season were swarming with 
small Barbus and Tilapia, with some catfish Clarias\ and the Barbus and 
Tiiapia at least often spent minutes on the surface gulping air. The catfish 
may only have risen to the surface at night. Though it would thus have been 
easy to catch fish by day, the owls did not do so, though other fishing birds 

Pel's Fishing Owl is apparently not adapted, or not so well adapted for 
silent flight as are typical mammal-eating nocturnal species. Vigorous wing- 
flapping, such as when leaving a perch, produces quite a loud sound. Pre- 
sumably, therefore, the hearing ability of fish in the water is not such as to 
detect the approach of a hunting owl. 

In Ethiopia, no evidence of breeding was detected in any month from 
January to March along the Mwi river. There are, in fact, no breeding 
records for Ethiopia, nor for East Africa (Urban & Brown 1970, East African 
Nat. Hist. Soc. nest record card scheme). Verreaux's Eagle Owl breeds in 
Ethiopia from January to April, and also in June and July; it also is largely a 
riverine species, heard in the same locality as Pel's Fishing Owl but feeding 
on different prey. Most large Ethiopian raptors breed in the main dry season 
October to April in north and northwest Ethiopia, but in southwest and 
southeast Ethiopia two rainfall peaks occur, with a less marked dry season 
June to September. No evidence was found by G. H. H. Brown either that 
Pel's Owl breeds in this period. 

Although Pel's Owl is quite common along the Mwi river and also along 
the main stream of the Omo in the same area, it was neither seen nor heard 
along the Godare river and tributaries within tropical forest in Illubabor 
Province at 800 m in February 1969 (Brown & Urban 1970). It may therefore 
be an inhabitant of riverine strips of woodland in savannas rather than of 
forest itself. 

BOTSWANA JULY 1971. Smithers (1964) states that Pel's Owl is only 
recorded from Sepopa and Seronga (one of which localities may be Txaquie 
— "an island in a swamp"); but it is evidently quite widespread in the 
Okavango swamps as we also found traces of it (feathers) in the Moremi 
Game Reserve. 

When I was camped at Txaquie Island, about 160 km up the Boro river 
channel from Maun, deep inside the Okavango river swamps, at least one, 
possibly two pairs of Pel's Fishing Owl frequented the immediate vicinity of 
the camp site. One apparently lived mainly on Buffalo Island across the 
channel to the north, another about 1 km downstream; however they could 
have been the same birds. On occasion the Buffalo Island pair came to 
Txaquie, and performed protracted vocal duets, apparently a form of court- 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 52 

The duetting was unlike the normal contact calls described for southwest 
Ethiopia and also heard at night at Txaquie. It lasted from 10-1 5 minutes and 
might occur several times in one night. The first was heard at about 01.30 on 
10 July, continued for about ten minutes, and was uttered from a dead stub 
three metres above the water of the river. Earlier, the owls had been heard 
contact calling at moonrise. They were not at first disturbed by torchlight, 
but later left when I rose to watch them; they could evidently see me easily. 
However, this pair duetted again in brilliant moonlight at about 22.30 on 12 
July, on a dead tree in the middle of Txaquie Island, in full view of five 
observers, for at least 1 5 minutes. They were not disturbed by torchlight, but 
turned to look at the light, revealing a red tapetum in the eye. They were 
filmed by D. Plage, using a light-intensifying device, and only fell silent when 
their own calls were played back to them on a tape recorder. They were 
perched too close together above each other to be certain which individual 
uttered a particular sound, and there was little size difference; however, one, 
presumed to be the male, had a higher pitched voice than the other. 

The duet begins with a series of low grunts "uh-uh-uhu", etc. which 
gradually work up to a crescendo, and it ends in a loud tenor hoot "Hooo- 
mmm"; the other responds with a deeper, more sonorous "Hooommmm" 
followed by more grunts "uh-uhu-uh-uh", etc. Probably the bird initiating 
the duet is the male, with the tenor voice, the female responding. In torch- 
light we could see that the throat is inflated when uttering the sonorous 
"Hooommm". They took about five minutes of grunting to work up to the 
full duet, which then continued for about 1 5 minutes. They duetted again 
later in the night and also on 18 July and later nights, though never again so 
close or so easily seen. The duets were uttered mainly during the moonlight. 

This behaviour is not unlike an uncommon duetting display of Verreaux's 
Eagle Owl (Brown 1965) in which the pair sit opposite one another grunting 
and jerking the body; however, it is not accompanied by any obvious body 
movements in Pel's Fishing Owl. Other large owls also duet, and in fact 
much calling by owls at night is duetting, in that male calls to female and is 
answered. Possibly such vigorous duetting may indicate the onset of the 
breeding season. Breeding is not recorded in Botswana (Smithers 1964); but 
in the Luang wa Valley, Zambia, it may occur in June (Benson & White 
1957), which is early in the dry season and would support the likelihood that 
breeding might occur in August in Botswana. However, no additional 
information was obtained. 

I was unable to locate the daytime roost of the Txaquie pair by searching 
likely patches of forest on Buffalo Island, as done successfully on the Mwi 
river, but I located several well-used roost perches in forest patches there 
and one on Txaquie itself. They were marked by droppings and some could 
be confirmed by feathers. However, no bones were found under any of them; 
and neither here nor in Ethiopia were the regular perches marked by an 
accumulation of pellets, as happens with many owls. Under one perch on 
Txaquie I found an accumulation of bones, perhaps a disintegrated pellet of 
this owl; but it seems likely that fish bones are mainly digested. 

The bones from Txaquie were kindly identified for me by Mr. R. A. Jubb 
of the Albany Museum, Grahamstown. They included opercular bones of 
small cichlid fishes 10-12 cm long, and part of the dorsal spine and bony 
humeral process of a small Sjnodontis or squeaker. These latter, a type of 
catfish, swim deep or among weeds by day but surface at night when they 
would be vulnerable to the owl. Cichlids too would move into shallows at 

53 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

night to feed (Jubb in lift.). On several nights at Txaquie a splash was heard 
suggestive of a catch by the owls. Here too, however, there was no indication 
whatever that they were other than entirely nocturnal. They were never 
heard calling or seen on the move before dark, though they called more in 
Botswana than along the Mwi in Ethiopia; and were never seen at dawn, 
when we were frequently about ourselves. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & White, C. M. N. 1957. Check list of the Birds of Northern Rhodesia. Govern- 
ment Printer, Lusaka. 
Brown, L. H. 1965. Observations on Verreaux's Eagle Owl Bubo lacteus (Temminck) in 

Kenya./. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. 3 5(2) : 1 01-107. 
Brown, L. H. & Urban, E. K. 1970. Bird and mammal observations from the forests of 

southwest Ethiopia. Walia (2): 13-40. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. The Birds of Eastern and North-eastern 

Africa. Vol. I. Longmans, London. 
Roberts, A. 1940. The Birds of South Africa. 3rd Edn. revised, MacLachlan & Liversedge 

(1970). Cape & Transvaal Printers, Cape Town. 
Smithers, R. H. N. 1964. A Check List of the Birds of the Bechuanaland Protectorate. Nat. Mus. 

S. Rhodesia, Salisbury. 
Sparks, J. & Soper, A. 1970. Owls. David & Charles. Newton Abbot. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1970. A Check List of the Birds of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie I 

University Press, Addis Ababa. 
Address: Box 24916, Karen, Kenya. 

Subspeciation in the Marico Flycatcher 
Melaenornis mariquensis (Smith) of Southwestern Africa 

by P. A. Clancey 

Received ij fanuary 1976 
The Marico Flycatcher Melaenornis mariquensis (Smith), 1847: Marico R., 
western Transvaal, of a large segment of the South West Arid District and 
some adjacent parts of Ethiopian Africa, was first shown to exhibit sub- 
specifically significant variation by Irwin (1957), when he proposed M. m. 
acaciae from Ohopoho in the Kaokoveld of northwestern South West Africa. 
Later, the species was reviewed by Lawson (1963), who recognised three 
subspecies, proposing M. m. vinaceus from Tshane, in the Kalahari, western 
Botswana, as a third race. I drew attention (Clancey 1968) to the peculiar 
characters of some Marico Flycatcher specimens from "Mkien" Farm, near 
Bulawayo, Rhodesia, taken by Durban Museum personnel, suggesting 
that these perhaps indicated a shift in western Rhodesian populations from 
nominate M. mariquensis to an as yet undescribed form in the northeastern 
sector of the species' range. I have recently pursued this latter line of enquiry, 
marshalling for the purpose a series of 402 specimens drawn from the 
collections of the Durban, East London and Transvaal Museums and the 
National Museum of Rhodesia, Bulawayo. To the responsible officials of 
sister institutions for assistance in organising the loan of material I tender 
my thanks. 

In the Marico Flycatcher variation affects the hue of the brown upper- 
parts and the lengths of the wings and tail, and overall follows a closely 
comparable pattern to that of many similarly distributed polytypic species of 
birds. In the main, the largest and palest birds are those in the west of the 
range from Angola, south to the northern Cape, with darker coloured 
populations in the mesic east. In freshly moulted examples the upper-parts 
are distinctly more pink or vinaceous tinged than those taken later in the 
year, a colour change which takes place in a relatively short period of time. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 54 

The large material available to me reveals incontrovertibly that both Irwin 
and Lawson failed to appreciate the measure of individual variation and the 
nature, extent and variability of the habitat-induced differences evident in 
most comprehensive museum series. Irwin believed his acaciae to be restricted 
to the Kaokoveld of northwestern South West Africa, taking the range of 
the nominate subspecies as far north in South West Africa as Windhoek and 
to Ghanzi in northwestern Bostwana. Lawson, in admitting the validity of 
acaciae, extended its range south as far as Rehoboth, in northern Great 
Namaqualand, at 23 18' S., 17 03' E., at the same time placing the popu- 
lations of "the interior plateau of South West Africa" in his new race, 
vinaceus. Lawson examined twenty specimens of vinaceus from South West 
Africa, most of these collected in the Windhoek district during May 1959 by 
personnel engaged in the joint Durban/East London Museums expedition 
of that year. Examination of the Windhoek series, perhaps the best available 
in freshly moulted condition from a single locality, reveals that there is a 
considerable range of individual variation in the relative yellowness or red- 
ness of the dorsal surfaces in far western populations of this flycatcher. Even 
allowing for this, specimens collected at Neudamm, Windhoek, in October 
1 94 1, by Austin Roberts are very decidedly yellower above than the yellowest 
1959 birds from the same area and agree with paratypes of acaciae from the 
Kaokoveld. In the case of a pair from the Rehoboth district, a $ from 
Valencia Ranch, taken on 13 May 1965, shows the characters attributed to 
vinaceus, while an example from Kobos, in the same district, taken two months 
later (in mid-July) matches paratypical skins of acaciae. Moving still further 
south in the arid west of the South African Sub-Region, freshly moulted 
birds from the Gemsbok National Park in the northern Cape are seen which 
are every bit as pallid as the palest northern South West African examples. 
Again, further southeast, most specimens in the Durban Museum collection 
from the Kuruman district of the northern Cape more closely resemble the 
Kaokoveld representation — after making allowance for a slight difference in 
the relative freshness of the samples — than they do fresher birds from the 
Kalahari immediately to the north. 

The relatively wide spectrum of individual variation in a population and 
the marked colour change to the dorsum correlated with insolation and the 
wearing of the plumage, dictate that no useful subdivision of the arid 
western populations of the Marico Flycatcher into northern and southern 
taxa can be sustained and that only two races in the species are admissible. 
The genetically based colour and size variation is, generally speaking, 
relatively slight. Resulting from these findings I place Lawson's vinaceus as a 
synonym of M. m. acaciae, the range of which is now seen as extending from 
Angola, south to the Kalahari of Botswana and the northern Cape. 

Apropos my suggestion that the northeastern populations might consti- 
tute a fourth subspecies, a freshly moulted sample from the Makgadikgadi 
Pan area of Botswana reveals that the population of this region is not 
separable taxonomically from that of the Transvaal (topotypical of M. m. 
mariquensis), though greying more than others through the action of the sun 
and wear in this particularly harsh, glaring environment. 

The revised characters and ranges of the two acceptable races of the 
Marico Flycatcher will now stand as follows : 

(a) Melaenornis mariquensis mariquensis (Smith), 1847: Marico R., 
western Transvaal. 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

Sketch-map showing the revised ranges of the two recognisable races of the Marico 
Flycatcher in southern Africa. 

A. Melaenornis mariquensis acaciae Irwin 
1 B. Melaenornis mariquensis mariquensis (Smith) 
% Extra-limital records of acaciae. 

Dorsum in freshly moulted condition dark Saccardo's Umber (Ridgway 
191 2, pi. xxix) with vinous-grey bloom. Venter white, the upper breast with 
faint bufT wash. 

Wings of 12 o*6* from the Transvaal 81-87-5, mean 84-7, SD 2-15, SE 
0-62, culmens 16-18, mean 17-0, SD 0-67, SE 0-19, tails 71-75-5, mean 
73 • 1 , SD 1 • 64, SE o • 47 mm. 

Wings of 12 9$ 82-87, mean 84-7, SD 1-52, SE 0-44, culmens 16-5-18, 
mean 17 • 1, SDC47, SEo- 14, tails 69-74, mean 72 -6, SD 1-83, SEo- 53 mm. 

Material examined. 280. 

Range. Eastern northern Cape, extreme western Orange Free State, bush- 
veld regions of the Transvaal highveld (east as far as Leydsdorp), Rhodesia 
in the dry west and locally over the midlands to Salisbury, Marandellas, 
Umvuma and Fort Victoria, southwestern Zambia, southwestern, western 
and northern Botswana (generally north of a line Ghanzi-Damara Pan- 
Molepolole), and Caprivi and adjacent southeastern Angola. 

Remarks. The birds of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan complex of Botswana 
and adjacent areas tend to become greyer through insolation and wear than in 
the case of populations of the same taxon occurring to the east (in Rhodesia 
i and the Transvaal). 

(b) Melaenornis mariquensis acaciae (Irwin), 1957: Ohopoho, Kaoko- 
i veld, northern South West Africa. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 56 

Synonym. Bradornis mariquensis vinaceus Lawson, 1963: Tshane (Tsane), 
Kalahari, western Botswana. 

Differs from the nominate subspecies in being paler and more vinaceous 
sandy red, or more ochraceous, over the dorsum, and markedly redder over 
the rump and upper tail-coverts (dorsum in fresh dress vinaceous Buffy 
Brown (pi. xl)). Wings and tail paler. Size larger. 

Wings of 12 0*0* from South West Africa 85-91, mean 88-5, SD 1-74, 
SEo- 5o,culmens 17-18- 5, mean 17*7, SDo- 50, SEo- 14, tails 73-78- 5, mean 
76-3, SD 1-98, SE o- 57 mm. 

Wings of 12 §5 85-5-90, mean 87-9, SD 1-62, SE 0-47, culmens 17-19, 
mean 17-6, SD o-6i, SE 0-18, tails 75-81, mean 77-2, SD i-88, SE 0-54 

Material examined. 122. 

Range. Southwestern Angola in south-central and southern Huila and 
parts of southern Cubango, South West Africa (except Namib and much of 
Great Namaqualand), northern Cape in Gordonia and Kuruman districts 
(south to Olifantshoek, Sishen and Kuruman, west to Vryburg), and Bots- 
wana south of a line Ghanzi-Damara Pan-Molepolole. Intergrades with the 
nominate race in the east of its range. 

Remarks. Environmental factors result in the fairly rapid loss of the pinkish 
tinge to the upper-parts and the assumption of a duller and yellower facies 
to the dorsum in the present taxon. As shown in the discussion above, the 
race vinaceus, proposed in the first instance on Kalahari birds in freshly 
assumed dress, is based on such phenotypic change, the paratypical material 
of acaciae available to its describer being in moderately abraded plumage, as 
revealed by the wear shown over the tips of the remiges and tails in specimens 
re-examined during the course of the present study. 

Some populations of acaciae are apparently subject to an eastward or north- 
eastward shift in the cold, dry winter months, judging by well-marked 
examples of it taken within the limits of the nominate subspecies in Rhodesia. 
Even making allowance for their age, three skins taken at Bulawayo in May 
1908, in the collection of the National Museum of Rhodesia, agree with fairly 
recent skins of acaciae from both southwestern Botswana and South West 
Africa. A $ dated 8 September 1957, from Grassland, Felixburg, Rhodesia, 
matches many topotypical examples of acaciae, while a further example from 
Hillside, Bulawayo, dated (probably incorrectly) 6 January 1948, likewise 
agrees with the same taxon in the redness of the upper-parts. 

A juvenile $ taken at O'Kiep, northern Little Namaqualand, northwestern 
Cape, on 21 April i960, is in the collection of the Transvaal Museum, 
Pretoria (T.M.Reg.No.31, 689). The collecting locality is well to the south- 
west of the range of the species. The specimen is probably referable to 
acaciae, and, judging by the date, almost certainly a wanderer from the north. 
Winterbottom (1968) lists the species from the Aughrabies Falls on the 
Orange R., to the east of O'Kiep, which is also well southwest of the species' 
established range. 

References : 

Clancey, P. A. 1968. Subspeciation in some birds from Rhodesia. Durban Mus. Novit. 8 (1 1) : 

. x 49- 

Irwin, M. P. S. 1957. A new race of Marico Flycatcher Bradornis mariquensis from South- 
west Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 77 (7): 118. 

Lawson, W. J. 1963. The geographical variation in the Marico Flycatcher Bradornis mariquen- 
sis Smith with the description of a new race. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 83 (8): 146-148. 

Ridgway, R. 191 2. Color Standards and Color Nomenclature. Washington. 

57 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

Winterbottom, J. M. 1968. A Check List of the land and fresh water Birds of the western 
Cape Province. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 53 (1): 197. 

Address: Durban Museum, City Hall, Durban 4001, S. Africa. 

Additional Migrant Records from Seychelles 

by D. A. Turner & A. D. Forbes-Watson 

Received 16 January 1976 

Feare (1973, 1975) recorded a number of migrant birds new to the Seychelles 
and the Malagasy region. These notes add further records, and may serve as 
a reminder to all visitors to Seychelles between October and April to be on 
the alert for additional migratory records. 

Perms apivorus. A Honey Buzzard was observed circling over Felicite Island 
on 1 October 1975. As it new low past us, the tail with two black bands near 
the base and one at the tip were clearly visible. The "pigeon-like" appear- 
ance of the head, and long wings, plus the heavily barred under wing pattern, 
clearly distinguished it from any Buteo species. The flight feathers were 
noticeably ragged, obviously due to heavy moult. 

This is the first record in both the Seychelles and Malagasy region ; a very 
early record from Madagascar is rejected by Rand (1936: 498, 496), despite 
Delacour (1932). It is likely however, that some of the birds of prey from 
Seychelles, recorded as Buteo sp. by Loustau-Lalanne (1962) and by Penny 
(1974: 153) may refer to Honey Buzzards. 

Tringa ochropus. A Green Sandpiper observed at a small freshwater inland 
pond on Silhouette Island on 8 October 1975 is the first record for Seychelles. 

Glareola maldivarum. Benson & Roux (1967) distinguished two adult 
pratincoles collected on Mahe in October and November 1877 as G. maldi- 
varum. Feare (1975) recorded pratincoles from Bird Island in September and 
October 1972 but states that comparison of photographs with specimens at 
Cambridge suggest his birds were G.pratincola. 

We observed three pratincoles on Praslin on 3 October 1975, and one we 
saw on Bird Island on 13 and 14 October 1975 had been present there since 
1 October (Mrs. Savy, pers. comm.) Photographs of the Bird Island bird 
taken by D. A. Bullock have been seen by C. W. Benson, who agrees that 
probably the species was G. maldivarum, not pratincola. The tails of all birds 
were noticeably less forked than in G. pratincola, of which we know the 
resident race in East Africa. Since G. pratincola is only migratory in small 
numbers to northern Africa (Vaurie 1965) and G. maldivarum is strongly 
migratory in winter, it seems more likely that all Seychelles records of 
pratincoles are of G. maldivarum. As far as we know G. pratincola has not 
been recorded further south than the Sudan and Ethiopia*, and is therefore 
unlikely to have been recorded during September and October in Seychelles 
some 2,000 miles further to the southeast. 

* Mr. C. W. Benson states {in lift.) that G. maldivarum has been recorded as far south as 
Mauritius (Benson, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1971 : 1-2) and that there is a record from Bird 
Island for 4 November 1963 (Bailey, Ibis 1967: 439), which is most likely referable to 
G. maldivarum. — ed. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Roux, F. 1967. Deux records meconnus des Seychelles. Oiseau 37: 145. 
Delacour, J. 1932. Les oiseaux de la mission zoologique Franco- Anglo- Am ericaine a 
Madagascar. Oiseau 2: 1-96. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 58 

Feare, C. J. 1 973 . Numenius minutus, Falco subbuteo and Caprimulgus europaeus in the Seychelles. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 99-101. 
— 1975 . Further migrant birds in the Seychelles. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95 : 48-50. 
Loustau-Lalanne, P. 1962. Land Birds of the Granitic Islands of The Seychelles. Seychelles 

Society Occasional Publication No. 1. 
Penny, M. 1974. The Birds of Seychelles and the Outlying Islands. Collins. 
Rand, A. L. 1936. The Distribution and Habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. 

Hist. 72(5): 143-499- 
Vaurie, C. 1965. The Birds of the Palearctic Fauna. Non-Passerines. London: Witherby. 

Address: P.O. Box, 48019, Nairobi, Kenya. 

Status of the White-crowned Starling 
Spreo albicapillus (Blyth) in Kenya 

by D. A. Turner <& A. D. Forbes-Watson 

Received 16 fanuary 1976 
Keith's (1964) description of the race Spreo albicapillus horrensis from North 
Horr in northern Kenya has until recently been the only record of the White- 
crowned Starling in Kenya. On 19 June 1975, we observed White-crowned 
Starlings in the Mandera district of northeastern Kenya, 10-12 in Mandera 
township itself and 6-8 also at c. 35 miles south, in both cases in close 
association with human habitation and cultivation. These were of the 
nominate race and considerably beyond the known range of either the 
northern Somalia population or, and more likely, the Yavello population in 
southern Ethiopia described by Benson (1946). 

We also observed S. a. horrensis on 21 June 1975 in many small groups 
along the northern edge of the Dida Galgalla desert c. 90 miles north of 
Marsabit and c. 80 miles east of North Horr, in much the same area as seen by 
L. H. Brown in 1963 (Keith 1964). These birds were noticeably smaller than 
the Mandera birds, as shown by Keith. Young birds with yellow bills and 
gapes were still being fed by adults. Altogether c. 50 birds were seen in small 
parties over a seven mile stretch of fairly lush ground (following exception- 
ally heavy rains in April) before the open thorn bush finally gave way to the 
barren lava desert of the Dida Galgalla. Also on 3 July 1973, A. D. F-W. and 
others saw four S. a. horrensis c. 30 miles southeast of North Horr, associating 
with camels, walking near their feet, presumably catching flushed insects. 

It now appears that S. a. horrensis ranges over a wide area of northern 
Kenya from the North Horr area eastward along the northern edge of the 
Dida Galgalla desert, while S. a. albicapillus is found in the extreme north- 
eastern corner of Kenya around Mandera. The much thicker thorn bush 
accurring in the Moyale-Wajir-Ramu triangle probably separates the two 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1946. Ibis 88: 453. 

Keith, S. 1964. A new subspecies of Spreo albicapillus (Blyth) from Kenya. Bull. Brit. Orn. 
CI. 84: 162-163. 

Address: P.O. Box 48019, Nairobi, Kenya. 

Buccal colours of sunbirds as an age character 

by R. K. Brooke 

Received 22 January 1976 
Brooke (1970a, b) suggested that the different colours, particularly of the 
palate, found in the mouths of sunbirds Nectariniidae might provide a 


{Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

method of grouping the species placed in an enlarged genus Nectarinia by 
Delacour (1944). Further data on buccal colours have been assembled by 
myself and by W. W. Howells at my request, from material in the collections 
of the National Museums of Rhodesia. Data recently obtained, together 
with that already published (Benson & Penny 1971, Brooke 1970a, b, 
Howells 1 971), are summarized in Table 1. The species are listed according 
to the subgenera and species groups (treated as subgenera) of Delacour (1944) 


Buccal colours of some sunbirds Nectariniidae 


Adult males 

Males in post Juvenals 
Adult females juvenal moult both sexes 

Nectarinia (Cyrstostomus) 
sovimanga (Benson & 
Penny 1971) 

N.(C). talatala 

N.(C). venusta 
Nectarinia (Antbobapbes) 

N.{A.) minulla 

N. (Aidemonia) cuprea 

(Howells 1 971) 
N.(Cyanomitra) bate si 

N.(C.) senegalensis 

N. (Nectarinia) 

Black sometimes, 
blackish pink 


or brownish black 
with white centre 

Dark red or dusky 

Very dark brown to 


Brownish grey to 

black or dusky red 

Dark grey-brown to 
black, sometimes 
with yellow underlay 

Flesh pink 

Flesh pink 

Yellow-grey Yellowish- Yellow 

— — Dusky orange 

Orange, pink Yellow with Orange 
when about pink centre 
to lay patch 

— Orange 

Yellow-grey Dull Ver- 
Yellowish — 
pink to 
Off white to — 
pinkish grey 
or yellow 



Rich yellow 
to orange or 

as being the latest revision of the family. It appears that what has seemed a 
taxonomic character is, in fact, a character of age, sex and breeding condition. 
In short, breeding adult male sunbirds have dark mouths, nonbreeding 
adult males have somewhat paler mouths, adult females have pale mouths, 
males in post ju venal moult do not attain adult mouth colours until the 
moult is nearly complete and juvenals have yellow to orange or pink mouths. 
The biological significance of these findings are obscure, since, as previously 
remarked, male sunbirds display facing away from their females. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Penny, M. J. 1971. The land birds of Aldabra. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London 

B260: 417-527. 
Brooke, R. K. 1970a. The buccal colours, weights and races of Nectarinia bifasciata. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 90: 11-14. 
— 1970b. Buccal colours in some sunbirds. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90: 134-135. 
Delacour, J. 1944. A revision of the family Nectariniidae (sunbirds). Zoologica 29: 17-38. 
Howells, W. W. 1 97 1. Breeding of the Coppery Sunbird at Salisbury, Rhodesia. Ostrich 42: 


Address: Museum and Art Gallery, City Hall, Durban 4001, S. Africa. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 60 

Ecology and breeding habits of the White-billed Starling 
Onychognathus albirostris in Tigrai, Ethiopia 

by L. H. Brown & K. M. Thorogood 

Received 22 January 1976 

The White-billed Starling Onychognathus albirostris is an Ethiopia highland 
endemic species, apparently commonest north and west of the Rift Valley but 
also recorded from Bale, south and east of the Rift. Locally abundant in 
suitable habitats, in most of its range it prefers rocky gorges and cliffs, 
between 2000 and 3000 m a.s.l. It occurs in small parties or singly, but may 
also form large noisy flocks, often associated with waterfalls. In this respect 
it resembles the Slender-billed Chestnut-wing O. tenuirostris more than the 
Common Redwing O. morio ', but although it occurs alongside O. tenuirostris 
it does not normally reach such high altitudes as the latter. In Semien O. 
albirostris occurs on cliffs up to 3100 m, while O. tenuirostris occurs to the 
upper limits of vegetation, feeding, for example, on Giant Lobelias Lobelia 
rhynchopetalum up to 4500 m. In the Bale Mts., southeast Ethiopia, O. tenui- 
rostris is abundant at around 3000 m, but O. albirostris does not normally 
occur with it; while in the Bole Valley, near Addis Ababa, at 2200-2500 m all 
three species, albirostris, tenuirostris and morio occur together. Here O. 
albirostris and O. tenuirostris prefer the neighbourhood of water, while O. 
morio is not confined to waterfalls and gorges. 

All three species also occur in Central Tigrai; but here O. albirostris largely 
occupies the niche occupied, for instance in East Africa, by O. morio, being 
common round rocky mountains bearing remnants of Olive-Cedar (Olea- 
Juniperus) forest, and much more abundant and widespread than either O. 
morio or O. tenuirostris. O. tenuirostris occurs only near waterfalls and along 
streams at about 2000 m or over, while O. morio has been seen only in semi- 
arid Acacia bushlands around rocky cliffs near Shiket, at about 1 500 m. Thus 
in most of Ethiopia O. albirostris appears intermediate between O. morio and 
O. tenuirostris, but in Tigrai becomes the dominant species. 

In Tigrai O. albirostris is also common in towns, perhaps because of the 
long tradition of skilled drystone building in Tigrai providing good breeding 
sites. It also frequents more recent man-made structures such as road bridges, 
for example in Shoa near Debre Berhan and Debra Sina. It thus shares the 
habit of associating with man and buildings shown by O. morio (Broekhuysen 
195 1, Brown 1965, Rowan 1955), the Somali Chestnut- wing O. blythii 
(Archer & Godman 1961) and the Bristle-crowned Chestnut- wing O. 
salvadorii (Urban et al. 1970). O. tenuirostris, though occurring commonly in 
inhabited parts of Kenya, is not known to associate with any man-made 
structures but breeds exclusively behind or near waterfalls (Brown 1965), 
while the Pale-winged Starling O. nabouroup, which might be expected to 
behave like O. morio apparently only breeds in rock clefts (Roberts, 3rd Ed, 
revised Maclachlan & Liversedge 1972). 

According to Hall & Moreau (1970) O. albirostris is placed in a species 
group with Waller's Chestnut-wing O. walleri, the Pale-winged Starling O. 
nabouroup, and the Socotran Chestnut-wing O.J rater. Reasons are not given; 
but all these birds of dissimilar habits are short-tailed. O. frater and O. 
nabouroup inhabit desert environments and might on that account be better 
placed with Tristram's Grackle O. tristrami. O. walleri is a forest species 

6 1 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

breeding in holes in trees, quite unlike most other Onychognathus species, and 
resembling more the forest starlings of the genus Poeoptera, some of which 
also have red wings. This paper will demonstrate that in most of its habits 
O. albirostris is probably closest to O. tenuirostris. 


O. albirostris' voice is intermediate between the sharp excited chatter of 
O. tenuirostris and the sweet whistling calls and songs of O. morio. Males utter 
a variety of short whistling calls: "Chee-up", "Tu-it"; sometimes a low 
"Cbut"; and when singing near the nest a repeated, rather sharp "Kwit-kwif\ 
accompanied by raising and lowering of the tail; also a call like "Chirip". In 
anxiety scolding near the nest a harsh grating "Charr" or "Churrr" is uttered. 
The calls are more like those of O. morio than those of O. tenuirostris ', to which 
in other respects this species seems closer. However the notes are neither so 
long drawn nor so melodious as those of O. morio. 



Although Smith (1957) records a pair building at Senafe, Eritrea, in June, 
the nesting of this species was substantially unknown until K.M.T. observed 
a pair breeding in a hole in the wall of the garment factory in Makalle in 1973. 
The same hole was again occupied in 1974, and was frequented in 1975, 
though breeding in 1975 was unsuccessful, if indeed the birds ever laid. This 
hole was about 9 m above ground in a vertical wall, inaccessible without a 
long ladder or ropes, and accordingly was not closely examined. Four young 
were successfully reared in both 1973 and 1974, but although the female 
remained within the hole for long periods and was thought to be incubating 
in Spetember 1975 it was evident by late October that no young were reared. 

Other nest-sites in man-made structures in or near Makalle included : 
(i) A nest with C/4 found in a hole under a bridge on the main Addis Ababa- 
Asmara road near Quiha; this was the only accessible site and is described 
more fully later. 

(ii) Two nests with young found in late September by V. Robertson above 
the door lintels on an upper floor balcony of the old palace at Makalle. Later 
attempts to examine these nests more closely were frustrated by illiterate 
police, though permission had been given by the Chief Administrator, Dr. 
Haile Selassie. 

(iii) A nest behind a drainpipe against the outside wall of the Abraha Castle 
Hotel at Makalle, which did not exist in early February 1974, and was not 
used in 1975, though the pair of starlings frequented it at intervals between 
10 Sep and 31 Oct, without adding much to it. It was clearly their nest, but 
was dilapidated and unused, so was not examined more closely. 

In addition, O. albirostris was suspected by L.H.B. of breeding under 
bridges along the main road from Addis Ababa to Dessie, between Debre 
Berhan and Debra Sina at 2800-3000 m in October 1974; however no definite 
site was located. 

The natural nest-site of this species was long suspected by L.H.B. to be in 
vegetation on cliffs and in caverns behind or beside waterfalls, since in the 
Bole Valley and Kessem River gorges near Addis Ababa flocks were seen 
behaving much like O. tenuirostris, which always uses such sites, while an old 
nest, possibly of this species, was found in a cave in the Kessem River Gorge. 
In Tigrai three natural nest-sites have been found : 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 62 

(a) In an inaccessible narrow crevice on a sandstone cliff face on Debre Zhion 
mountain, near Dugum, on 15 Oct 75. This crevice was about 20 m below 
the lip of the vertical 80 m face, among grass tussocks growing where water 
had earlier trickled during the rains. Both adults visited it twice, the female 
entering and staying some minutes. Her behaviour was consistent with feed- 
ing young. This site would have been quite typical of natural sites of O. 
morio in Kenya, though in a depeer crevice than most; and was typical of the 
sites suspected but not examined by Smith (1957). 

(b) Two nests at Romanat Falls, 8 km from Makalle, both containing young 
on 27 Oct 75. Two parents were seen visiting each nest, and at 18.10 hrs on 
27 Oct the female of each pair entered its nest and remained within, while the 
males apparently roosted on ledges or trees on the cliff face above. One nest 
was entirely hidden in dense maidenhair fern {Adiantum sp.), wetted by the 
spray, about 2 m above the water of the surge pool of the falls. Though 
invisible, its precise location was determined by the visiting adults. 

The other nest was in a damp hole at the back of the cavern behind the 
same falls, about 3 km above the water, and was visible from across the pool. 
On 3 1 Oct L.H.B. swam through the pool to the cave, but found that the 
nest was still inacessible with the available ladder, as the cliff at that point 
overhung the water. H.Arundale had observed both parents visiting each 
nest repeatedly earlier the same day, thus confirming the presence of young. 

Nest and eggs. 

The nest found under the road bridge (see back) on 23 Sep 75 was aces- 
sible and could be closely examined. It was in a drainage hole about 3 m 
from the concrete base of the bridge, about \ metre in. On 23 Sep L.H.B. and 
V. Robertson found C/3. On 28 Sep K.M. and B. Thorogood found C/4, 
removed, measured and returned the eggs. They were rather broad ovals, 
resembling eggs of O. tenuirostris rather than those of O. morio, clear tur- 
quoise blue with small well-defined dark brown and blackish spots, mainly 
clustered about the broad end and measured 30-33 mm X 20-21 mm, 
averaging about 20-7 X 31*25 mm. 

The nest was a substantial construction laterally compressed by the 
nature of the site, but otherwise resembling other Onychognathus nests. It had 
probably been used repeatedly and merely repaired in 1975. It was not taken 
to pieces, but apparently had no mud base, being composed wholly of grass 
and cereal leaf blades, lined with finer plant fibres and rootlets. The nest rim 
was about 1 1-12 cm above the base, which in a site not laterally compressed 
would have been about 1 5 cm across. The central cup was 9-10 cm across by 
4-5 cm deep. 

This nest was re-examined on 26 Oct, when it should have contained large 
young. The parent starlings were still present, but the nest was abandoned 
and filled with the dry droppings of Speckled Pigeons Columba guinea. 
Whether it had been abandoned through competition from this large pigeon 
(which breeds and roosts in many such drainage holes under bridges in most 
of Ethiopia), or whether it had regrettably been robbed by Ethiopian chil- 
dren who observed us taking an interest in it, is unknown. 

Laying dates and breeding success. 

K.M.T. has records of laying at the garment factory site in Aug and Sep. 
The other nests found suggest laying in Sep (2) and Oct (2), the sites at 
Romanat Falls with small young late in October being later than the others 
in drier sites. Thus this species in Tigrai apparently breeds late in the rains, or 

6 3 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

just after the rains have finished, suggesting that, as in O. tenuirostris (Brown 
1965), laying dates may be related to flood conditions. These dates are 
consistent with some of the few available records for the Common Redwing 
O. morio in Ethiopia (Urban & Brown 1971 ; and L.H.B. unpub. nest records). 
The young from the garment factory site left the nest in October, suggesting 
that the combined incubation and fledging periods might be c. 35 days, 
similar to that of O. morio. However, more precise data are needed as incu- 
bation periods might vary, as they do in O. morio , while fledging periods might 
be longer in wet waterfall sites, as in O. tenuirostris (Rowan 195 5, Brown 1965). 

Breeding behaviour of adults. 

Scattered data suggest that the behaviour of this species generally resembles 
that of O. morio and O. tenuirostris. Nest-sites are probably used for several or 
many successive years, both in artificial and natural sites. The basic nest 
structure in a dry artificial site might only need a little repair annually, but in 
wet cave sites might disintegrate in the August-September floods and 
require complete reconstruction (as in O. tenuirostris in such sites — Brown 
1965). Probably most nest building is done by the female who often remains 
for long periods in the hole while the male sings and postures on a song post 
outside. At the garment factory site the males' song post was the corner of the 
parapet on the roof of the building. A male was also once seen near Quiha 
holding a rootlet in his bill and singing beside a female feeding at the edge of 
a cereal field, at least 1 km from their possible nest site near a small waterfall. 
At the garment factory site on 22 Sep 75 the male collected scraps of dyed 
thread and took these into the nest hole when the female was inside; and at 
the Abraha Castle Hotel site the female often spent several minutes perched 
on and apparently examining the nest, working sometimes on the material but 
adding little, while the male perched and sang on the parapet above. 

Although little is known of the incubation period, the female probably 
incubates most and is fed by the male. On 23 Sep 75 the garment factory male 
spent some minutes battering to death a hard elliptical beetle, which re- 
peatedly slipped from his bill. Eventually he took it to the female in the hole. 
In this case laying was not proven; but in both O. morio and O. tenuirostris 
males feed sitting females. 

After the young hatch they are fed by both parents, but more often by the 
female. As in O. morio and O. tenuirostris, both parents usually depart together 
on a feeding foray, and return together; females may then have food and 
males none. However, often both feed the young in turn, and sometimes 
both enter the nest together, as at Romanat, 27 Oct 75. In such damp water- 
fall sites it seems likely that females remain brooding small young for part of 
the day and at night, as in O. tenuirostris in similar situations (Brown 1965). 
Both sexes feed large young, coming and going together, and entering the 
nest in turn. All identifiable food has consisted of insects, including a hard 
beetle, three grasshoppers and a butterfly. Away from the nest the adult 
frequently flies out from a perch to catch an insect in the manner of a fly- 
catcher. On 27 and 31 Oct females entering the Romanat Falls nests had 
beakfuls of small unidentifiable objects, probably small insects, which they 
possibly regurgitated to the young as in O. tenuirostris (Brown 1965). 

Four young were reared in the garment factory nest in both 1973 and 1974, 
but in 1975 this pair failed, if they ever laid. In five pairs observed there were 
two cases of non-breeding and one failure, with a success rate overall of 8 
young from 1 2 known eggs and 20 potential eggs, if the average clutch is 
four : about 1 • 6 young per pair per annum. The success of the Romanat Falls 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 64 

nests was unknown. As in other Onychognathus spp, especially O. tenuirostris, 
one has the impression that only a proportion of pairs breed annually, many 
more adults being seen paired than nests are found, especially near natural 
waterfall sites where breeding may be severely limited by the availability of 
suitable dry nest holes. 

Young remain near the nests, apparently dependent on the parents, for a 
few days after first flight, then follow their parents to feeding grounds, 
forming small family parties. Recently flown young are duller black than 
their glossy parents, and have grey heads like females, but have white bills 
and reddish wing-feathers like the adults. The white bill may not be in- 
variable, as apparent juveniles with dark bills have been seen by L.H.B. in 
Semien at 3000-3100 m, in flocks with adults. 

Later in the dry season adults and young form into larger flocks of up to 
10-12 in Makalle; but in some other sites, e.g. the Kessem River Gorge and 
Bole Valley, up to 100 or more have been seen together. During the day such 
flocks may split up into smaller parties or even singles and gather again to 
roost, as happens in several other Onychognathus spp {tenuirostris, morio, 
salvadori'i). Young and adults are mixed in these large flocks, which often visit 
waterfalls in the heat of the day to bathe, as in O. tenuirostris. 

Although the general behaviour of this species is thus very much like what 
is known of other Onychognathus species, and especially that of O. tenuirostris 
in its liking for waterfalls and gorges, O. albirostris appears less extremely 
gregarious than O. tenuirostris, while its adaptation to man-made breeding 
sites, at least in Tigrai, and probably elsewhere should undoubtedly assist it to 
exploit new habitats and help it to breed more successfully. It is not known 
whether it competes directly with O. tenuirostris for breeding sites near 
waterfalls, as no nest of O. tenuirostris has so far been found in Ethiopia. 

References : 

Archer, Sir G. & Godman, £. M. 1961. The Birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf oj Aden. 

Vol. IV. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh. 
Broekhuysen, G. J. 195 1. Observations on the nesting habits of the Redwinged Starling 

Onychognathus morio. Ostrich 22: 6-16. 
Brown, L. H. 1965. Redwinged Starlings of Kenya./. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. XXV(i) 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An Atlas of Speciation in African Passerine Birds. London, 

British Museum (Natural History). 
Roberts, A. 1972. Birds of South Africa. 3rd Ed., revised Maclachlan & Liversedge. Cape 

Rowan, M. K. 1955. The breeding biology and behaviour of the Redwinged Starling 

Onychognathus morio. Ibis 97: 663-705. 
Smith, K. D. 1957. An annotated checklist of the birds of Eritrea. Ibis 99: 1-26, 307-337. 
Urban, E. K., Brown, L. H., Buer, C. E. & Plage, G. D. 1970. Four descriptions of nesting, 

previously undescribed, from Ethiopia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90(6): 162-4. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie I 

University Press, Addis Ababa. 

Addresses: L. H. Brown, Box 24916, Karen, Kenya. 

Mrs. K. M. Thorogood, 7 Union Street, Bedford MK40 2SF. 

The wing proportions of the Eocene Diver 

Colymboides anglicus 
by C. J. 0. Harrison 

Received 9 fanuary 1976 
Storer (1956) examined the material in various collections which had been 
referred to a small diver, Colymboides minutus Milne-Edwards 1867, of the 

6 5 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

Aquitanian deposits of France of Late Oligocene or Early Miocene age. 
Comparing the lengths of various bones he showed that in this species, 
although smaller, the proportions of the wing bones relative to each other 
were similar to those of Recent divers, Gavia species. Lydekker (1891) 
described a larger species, Colymboides anglicus, from the Upper Eocene of 
Hampshire, England, based on a coracoid in the collection of the British 
Museum (Natural History) no. 30330. In a recent re-examination of British 
Upper Eocene bird material (Harrison & Walker, in press) a humerus (c 
3 1 341) and the frontal end of a skull (c 3 1343), both in the Sedgwick Museum, 
Cambridge, have been referred to C. anglicus. In addition an ulna from the 
Upper Eocene, Hordle (=Hordwell), Hampshire, British Museum (Natural 
History) no. 36795, presented by S. Laing in 1862 and listed by Lydekker 
(1 891) as an unidentified ulna of a carinate bird, now appears to be referable 
to C. anglicus and makes possible further comparison of wing proportions 
between C. minutus, C. anglicus and Gavia. 

The British Museum coracoid indicates that C. anglicus was larger than C. 
minutus and it is smaller than the Recent Red-throated Diver, Gavia stellata. 
It measures 42-4 mm long, about half as long again as that of C. minutus, and 
three-quarters the size of that of G. stellata. The humerus is incomplete, 
being broken away proximally at about the distal edge of the bicipital 
surface. Like the humerus of C. minutus the shaft is stouter and more curved 
than in Gavia, and the internal condyle appears to project further distally than 
in either Gavia or C. minutus. The incomplete humerus is 67 mm long and if 
restored by comparison with that of C. minutus, in which the humerus is 62- 
66 mm long, would appear to have been c. 8 5 mm long. This is a little less than 
three-fifths the length of the humerus of G. stellata. The new ulna is of the 
typical diver type. It is proportionally stouter, larger at the articulating ends, 
and more curved than that of C. minutus, but is barely longer, being 57-8 mm 
long compared with 49-8-56 mm in C. minutus; and it is only half the length 
of the ulna in G. stellata. 

In comparison with the bones of G. stellata therefore, C. minutus has wing 
bones with similar ratios of length relative to each other, while C. anglicus has 
a coracoid three-quarters as long as that of G. stellata, a humerus less than 
three-fifths as long and an ulna only half as long. There is always some possi- 
bility that palaeontological specimens may be referred to the wrong species, 
but from the material available it would appear that in comparison with 
other divers C. anglicus had a much shorter wing. A development of this kind 
is not unusual in birds which obtain their food in water. However, this is the 
earliest known form of true diver and since the shorter wing represents an 
evolutionary divergence from the typical structure such a bird is unlikely to 
have given rise to later, more generalised forms. C. anglicus may therefore 
represent a specialised offshoot from a more generalised gaviid stem, rather 
than a direct ancestral form of either the later Gavia species or of C. minutus. 

References : 

Harrison, C. J. O. & Walker, C. A. Birds of the British Upper Eocene. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 

Lond. in press. 
Lydekker, R. 1891. Catalogue of the Fossil Birds in the British Museum {Natural History). 

London: B. M. (N. H.). 
Milne-Edwards, A. 1867-71. Recherches anatomique et paleontologique pour servir a Vhistoire des 

oiseaux fossiles de la France. Paris: Masson. 
Storer, R. W. 1956. The fossil loon, Colymboides minutus. Condor 58: 413-426. 

Address: British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 66 

The problem of the cassowary in New Britain 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 12 February 19 j6 

The presence of cassowaries on two islands which do not lie on the conti- 
nental shelf of Australia and New Guinea poses a problem of how a large 
flightless bird reached these localities. Recently I discussed (White 1975) the 
presence of C. casuarius in Seran (Seram), and showed that these birds could 
be feral descendents of birds brought there by human mercantile activities. 
Brief reference was also made to the presence of C. bennetti in New Britain, 
and I pointed out that, although Mayr (1945 : 1) had suggested that New 
Britain must have been colonised by a pair swimming the Vitiaz Strait from 
northeast New Guinea to New Britain, there was evidence to show that 
introduction by way of human mercantile activities was likewise possible in 
this case. 

There is certainly no evidence that New Britain was linked by land to New 
Guinea even when ocean levels were lower during the Pleistocene. Although 
not lying on the continental shelf, Gilliard & LeCroy (1967 : 183) state that in 
former times New Britain was more closely connected to the mainland of 
New Guinea, but this may be quite misleading. Any geological similarities 
between parts of New Britain and the northern coastal ranges of New Guinea 
were established in the Miocene, when various islands emerged, and long 
before some of them became the present day northern coastal ranges of New 
Guinea, consolidation of which in the north of the central cordillera was 
probably post-Pliocene (Marchant 1972: 221-2). New Britain and the region 
of the Vitiaz Strait are an area of tectonic instability and extreme vulcanism. 
The northern part of New Britain is heavily covered with volcanic ash of 
Pleistocene to more recent date (Brookfield & Hart 1972: 26-35), but there 
is no evidence that such vulcanism resulted in temporary or partial bridging 
of the Vkiaz Strait. The lack of other evidence for any past land link with 
New Guinea is strongly reinforced by the fact that, in contrast to New Guinea, 
New Britain has an impoverished bird fauna, such as characterises oceanic 
islands, of about 130 breeding land and fresh water species. 

Mayr admitted that the chances of successful colonisation by swimming 
across the Vitiaz Strait would have been very slight, to which may be added 
that sea conditions prevailing there are very unfavourable. A strong current 
from the southeast flows through the strait almost throughout the year, 
while from May to November winds from the southeast, with long periods 
of high velocities, produce such stormy conditions that sea-going canoes are 
weather bound (Allied Geographical Section 1943 155, 61). 

On the other hand long established indigenous trading networks show 
how C. bennetti could have been carried to New Britain by human agency. It is 
well known that cassowaries are extensively traded in New Guinea, often 
over long distances. Captive C. unappendiculatus, which must have been 
brought from north New Guinea, have been found in New Britain (Mayr 
1940: 3). Harding (1967) has described and analysed the trading networks of 
the Vitiaz Strait, operating between the Rai coast, south of Madang on 
Astrolabe Bay and the Huon Peninsula, New Guinea and New Britain. This 
network was formerly much more extensive, but declined after the intro- 
duction of German administration into the area in 1884. Harding, when he 

67 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

studied the situation in 1963-64, found the network was still in being, 
operated by the Siassi islanders, living off Umboi Island, and using large 
two-masted canoes when weather conditions in the Vitiaz Strait were favour- 
able. He found that a well defined two-way traffic existed. He did not specific- 
ally note cassowaries among commodities traded, but this is not of great 
significance, since it is known that C. unnappendiculatus has been carried by 
man to New Britain. Given the existance of this trading network, it seems 
most likely that C. bennetti originally reached New Britain by this agency. 

Salvadori (1882: 501-503) reported that in the middle of last century the 
inhabitants of New Britain caught and domesticated young cassowaries, and 
traded some to a Captain Devlin. One of the latter reached the London 
Zoological Gardens and was described by Gould as C. bennetti. Subsequently 
a number were brought to Europe and they bred in the London Gardens. It 
might thus be supposed that description of any distinctive characters of birds 
from New Britain would have been well established. This is not so. Salvadori 
described adult bennetti from New Britain as having the bare neck blue with 
a wine-red area on the lower sides of the neck. Mayr (193 1 : 710) stated that 
birds from the Huon Peninsula, in adjacent New Guinea, were distinguish- 
able as C. b. hecki, with a variable amount of red on the throat and upper 
sides of the neck. Later (1945 : 1) Mayr stated that differences between birds 
from New Britain and the Huon Peninsula could not in fact be accurately 
described in the absence of coloured field sketches of birds from these 
localities, but gave no explanation for this reversal of his earlier opinion. 

I am grateful to Mrs. M. LeCroy (American Museum of Natural History, 
New York) for some recent data about two birds from New Britain. A female, 
(AMNH 333637) collected by Coultas in 193 3 during the Whitney Expedition 
has recorded on its label "Neck reddish purple with lighter bluish patches. 
Pinkish red patches at sides", which may indicate that it was immature 
since immature bennetti were briefly stated by Salvadori to have the neck 
bluish violet and pink. A colour photo was also lent to me of a bird collected 
by Gilliard in 1958-59. This shows a lateral view of the neck, agreeing with 
Salvadori's description of an adult, but it also shows a purplish pink patch 
on the side of the head over the jaw articulation. Mrs. LeCroy informs me 
that in a second photo this patch is even more distinct. This character occurs 
commonly, though not invariably, in C. bennetti in New Guinea. The mounted 
type of C. b. hecki in the Zoological Museum, Berlin, is painted with a dark 
red patch below the ear aperture (Warren 1956: 760). Another C. b. hecki 
from the Huon Peninsula, originally described as C.foersteri Rothschild, had 
a large pink patch below the ear, and lacked red on the front and upper sides 
of the neck. C. b. hecki as illustrated by Rothschild (1900: pi. 37) similarly 
has a uniform blue throat without any red area. On the other hand, C. 
keysseri Rothschild was described as having the front of the throat and neck 
extensively pale red. The birds described as hecki, foersteri and keysseri all 
came from the area of the Huon peninsula, and must, as Mayr (1931) con- 
cluded, represent a single variable form. Birds lacking a red throat patch and 
having a pink area on the side of the head match Gilliard's New Britain bird. 
Birds in adult black plumage with a red throat patch may be retaining an 
immature character, or may exhibit individual variation. 

Within all this considerable range of recorded plumage variation, there is 
no evidence of any distinction between birds from New Britain and from 
northeast New Guinea, which accords well with the suggestion, put forward 
above, that New Britain birds are descendents of birds introduced from 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 68 

adjacent New Guinea — in which case hecki is a synonym of nominate C. 

I am grateful to Dr. R. Schodde, CSIRO, Canberra for commenting (in lift. 22. XI. 74) on 
an outline of this suggestion: "I am much taken by your idea that New Britain birds may 
have originally been carried there by man — it makes sense in so many ways". 

References : 

Allied Geographical Section: South West Pacific Area. 1943. Terrain Study no. 57. Area 
Study of western New Britain. 

Brookfield, H. C. & Hart, D. 1971. Melanesia. London, Methuen. 

Gilliard, E. T. & LeCroy, M. 1967. Results of the 1958-59 Gilliard New Britain expedition. 
Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 135: 173-216. 

Harding, T. G. 1967. Voyagers of the Vitia^ Strait. Seattle & London, University of Washing- 
ton Press. 

Marchant, S. 1972. Evolution of the genus Chrysococcyx. Ibis 114: 219-233. 

Mayr, E. 193 1. Die Vogel des Saruwaged und Herzog-geberges (N.O. New Guinea). Mitt. 
Zoo I. Mus. Berlin. 17: 639-723. 

— 1940. Birds collected during the Whitney South Seas expedition 41. Notes on New 
Guinea birds 6. Amer. Mus. Novit. No. 1056. 

— 1945. Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea expedition 55. Notes on the birds 
of northern Melanesia 1. Amer. Mus. Novit. No. 1294. 

Rothschild, W. 1900. A monograph of the genus Casuarius. Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond. 15 : 109- 

Salvadori, T. 1882. Ornithologia della Papuasia e delle Molucche. 3 : 473-503. Torino. 
Warren, R. L. M. 1956. Notes on specimens and illustrations of cassowaries, mainly in the 

British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. Ser. 12, 9: 753-773. 
White, C. M. N. 1975. The problem of the cassowary in Seran. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95: 


Address: 2 Belvedere Court, Kingsway, Ansdell, Lytham-St. Annes, Lanes. 

Notes on the Hawk-headed Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus 

by E. McLoughlin & P. J. K. Burton 

Received 9 March 19J6 

The Hawk-headed Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus is the sole representative of a 
distinctive genus from northern South America, placed between\ona 
and Triclaria by Peters (1937). This paper presents new information about the 
habits and anatomy of Deroptyus. The field observations recorded here were 
made by E. McL, extending and amplifying his earlier account (McLoughlin 
1970); and prompting PJKB to examine anatomical specimens, with the 
resulting comments in the second section of this paper. 


Observations were made between 1970 and 1973 in an area of mainly 
sand-belt forest with some savannah, both natural and man-made, in Berbice, 
northern Guyana. 


Certain calls are highly characteristic, and once learned are the most useful 
key to identifying Deroptyus in the field. In Guyana, its widely used Arawak 
name, the Hia-Hia parrot, derives from its most frequently heard call, which 
consists of two units, combined in various ways, e.g. "tak-heeya-heeya", 
"tak tak heeya-heeya", etc. The commonly uttered combination "tak- 
heeya" has its syllables weighted exactly as in the word "trachea", and the 
syllable "hee" is considerably higher in pitch than the other two. 

69 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

The species also has a varied repertoire of other notes. These include a 
prolonged soft "yaag", single bugle like notes and a loud, musical "lawera". 
Group calling heard on other occasions included a wide variety of musical or 
chattering calls, soft piping notes and a high-pitched "slit", repeated many 
times sandwiched between the familiar "tak-heeya" calls. No obvious 
significance could be ascribed to most of these calls, but a pure musical 
whistle, sometimes followed by a very rapid "cha-cha-cha", was uttered by 
two pairs which were possibly establishing or disputing possession of 
nesting areas. 

The "tak" which precedes the "heeya" calls immediately distinguishes the 
notes of the Hawk-headed Parrot from those of the Black-headed Caique 
Pioniles melanocephala, whose characteristic "keeya" call sounds similar to 
that of Deroptyus, but lacks the "tak" and is more long-drawn out. There are 
other resemblances: both species engage in a performance, generally con- 
ducted by about four birds over periods of ten minutes to half an hour or 
more, when bizarre sounds are frequently uttered in a leisurely manner. 


Two pairs were seen feeding in late March on the ripe fruits of a cocorite 
palm, Altalea fagifolia. An Amerindian informant living in the area stated 
that it fed on fruits of the Awarra Palm Astrocaryum tucumoides and the Cuyuru 
Palm A. tucuma. In cultivated clearings it came to feed on the fruits of 
Poixdoux, Inga spp. and Guava Psidium guajava. 


Five nests were found or reliably reported. Four were located in holes, 
almost certainly excavated by woodpeckers, in the trunks of large dead trees 
a few feet below the division into main branches. The fifth nest was on the 
extremity of a much narrower hollow limb, and this was clearly a replace- 
ment nest, situated only a short distance from a typically sited nest which had 
been destroyed a few weeks earlier when the tree fell. When visited 1 3 March 
1 970, one bird flew out when the tree was tapped, and the head of its mate 
also appeared at the entrance hole. Both birds remained silent. 

At a nest visited on 31 Jan 1973, an adult's head appeared and remained 
framed in the entrance hole for half an hour; the following evening, both 
birds arrived together shortly after the observers, and alighted in a nearby 
tree calling agitatedly. The less commonly heard magpie-like "chak-chak . . ." 
call was repeated rapidly. One of the pair then flew into the hole, but again, 
remained watching from the entrance. This bird was again seen in the 
entrance hole on 7 March. 

Also on 7 March 1973, a nest in a cultivated clearing was reported; this 
was believed to have young, since the adults were visiting for short intervals 
only. Subsequently it appeared that this nest also came to grief when the 
tree crashed after heavy rains, and the only nestling found was killed by a dog 
before it could be rescued. Such incidents may well be a significant cause of 
nest failure in this species. 

On 23 March 1972, a nestling was obtained from a typical nest at about 
40-50 ft, near the broken end of a tree trunk, the nest chamber being situated 
about two feet below the entrance hole. There did not appear to be any other 
nestling or egg in the nest cavity. E. McL. examined the bird, which had 
feathers in quill, with green just beginning to sprout from their tips. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 70 


As noted by various other observers, Deroptyus usually flies low, never 
more than 1 5-20 ft above the treetops. On two occasions where there was an 
opportunity to observe its flight in the open, this was seen to be a regular 
series of about five wing flaps separated from the next series by a longish 
low straight glide, making the overall flight pattern slightly undulating. The 
rather small head and slightly spread tail are distinctive. 

It does not appear to be particularly gregarious. The largest group en- 
countered on the many occasions on which it was either seen or heard 
contained four birds, in view simultaneously, and two others calling but 
hidden from view. Usually only one or two pairs were seen together, 
occasionally only a single bird. 

On a couple of occasions, one of a pair resting in the treetops raised part 
or all of the erectile neck feathers for a brief period, but no obvious sig- 
nificance could be attached to this action. Captive birds raising these feathers 
seem to be indicating mild irritation rather than alarm. The feathers of the 
crown are sometimes raised independently of those forming the fan. 

While usually regarded as a poor mimic of the human voice, one specimen 
lent to E. McL could give a most life-like imitation of a dog afflicted by a 
sudden excruciating pain, its anguished howls trailing away to a whimper. 
The juvenile bird mentioned earlier, after nearly a year had poorly defined 
calls which only vaguely resembled those of the wild birds. 


There is very little information on the anatomy of Deroptyus. Brief remarks 
on osteology are given by Garrod (1876), and it was included in the study 
of tongue myology in the Psittaciformes by Mudge (1903). The following 
notes are based on a skeleton and a spirit specimen in the British Museum 
(Natural History), Registration Numbers S/ 195 5.5.52 and A/OH.238 

Deroptyus accipitrinus 

Ama^pna aestiva 






Length relative 
to cranium 


Length relative 
to cranium 

Cranium from fronto- 

nasal hinge 





Exoccipital process (from 

postero-dorsal corner of 

auditory meatus) 










Palatine (to postero- 

ventral tip) 








17. 1 


Quadrate (otic process 

to ventral edge) 





Orbit, max. length 





Lower jaw length 


106 -6 



Lower jaw, max. depth 





Total length, vertebrae 1-5 





Widest vertebra 





Sternum, from antero- 

ventral tip of keel 



60 -5 


Table 1 : Comparison of some skull and other measurements in single specimens of 
Deroptyus accipitrinus and Ama^ona aestiva from the British Museum (Nat. Hist.). 
Sternum length is included as a rough index of body size. 

71 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

The skull (Fig. 1) is of particular interest, and differs extensively from the 
skulls of Ama^ona spp. — the genus with which Deroptyus has been associ- 
ated in recent lists. Table 1 compares skull and vertebra proportions in 
Deroptyus with a single specimen of Amayona aestiva. A much more extensive 
programme of measurements should obviously form part of any future 
investigation. Nevertheless inspection of a wide range of genera seems to 
indicate that the main points emerging from this limited comparison would 
hold good not only for other Ama^ona species, but probably for most other 
parrots except very large forms. The principal differences can be summarised 
as follows : — 

1. The cranium is slightly shorter in Deroptyus \ but with much enlarged 
exoccipital (="opisthotic") processes which protrude beyond the 
posterior of the cranium and with a proportionately more expanded 
occipital region. 

2. Palatine, quadrate and orbits are larger relative to both cranium length 
and body size in Deroptyus. 

3. The lower jaw is considerably deeper in Deroptyus ', and shows a 
prominent mandibular foramen (absent or very small in Ama^ond) and 
little emargination of the anterior edge. 

It is worth noting, in passing, that the orbital ring is complete in both 
specimens, although Garrod (1876) described it as incomplete; possibly his 
specimen was a young bird. 

Fig. 1 : Lateral views of skulls of (a) Deroptyus accipitrinus (b) Ama^pna aestiva. 

The most notable modifications are those of the occipital region, the large 
relative size and posterior protrusion of the exoccipital processes being 
equalled only be a few genera of very large parrots {Nestor, Strigops, Probos- 
ciger, Anodorhynchus, Ara). The modifications increase the area available for 
the insertion of the muscles concerned with turning and raising the head, 
which are particularly important for sideways wrenching movements used in 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 72 

detaching fruits. The muscle most affected is M. rectus capitis lateralis, which 
is inserted on the posterior edge of the exoccipital process and arises from the 
hypapophyses of vertebrae 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Deroptyus, but from 2, 3 and 4 only 
in a specimen of Ama^pna guildingii. The sites of origin of the remaining 
muscles show no special modification — in both Deroptyus and Amatfpna 
guildingii their vertebrae of origin are as follows : M. complexus — 4 and 5 ; M. 
splenius capitis — 2 ; M. biventer cervicis — origin via a long tendon from the 
thoracic region. The cervical vertebrae of Deroptyus are relatively shorter but 
wider than in Ama^pna. 

The overall effect of these jaw and cranium features is to confer on Derop- 
tyus a considerably more powerful feeding apparatus relative to its body size 
than in Ama^ona. Although the two genera are probably broadly similar in 
ecology, these basic differences in morphology make any close relationship 
seem unlikely. Discerning their true affinities is more difficult and osteology 
alone can only partially help (see Thompson (1900) and Berlioz (1941) for 
discussion of the problems involved). Deroptyus has perhaps evolved 
relatively rapidly from a stock of generally smaller parrots to exploit larger 
food items. E. McL's observations indicate similarities to Pionites, while Low 
(1972) points out resemblances to Pyrrbura conures. Forshaw (1973) also sug- 
gests these genera as possible relatives. Further study of the ecology and 
behaviour of this interesting species would clearly be well worthwhile. 

The nests described were shown to E. McL. by Jaap Langenburg, and Tom Elek. Youell 
Scott supplied details of one which McL. did not see. Information on its feeding was given 
by Alvaro Sarmento. To all of them we acknowledge our grateful thanks. 

References : 

Berlioz, J. 1941. Recherches osteologiques sur le crane de perroquets. Oiseau Revue fr. Orn. 

11: 17-36. 
Forshaw, J. M. 1973. Parrots of the World. Melbourne, Lansdowne. 

Garrod, A. H. 1876. Notes on the anatomy of certain parrots. Proc. %pol. Soc. Lond: 691-692. 
Low, Rosemary. 1972. The Parrots of South America. London, John GifFord. 
McLoughlin, E. 1970. Field notes on the breeding and diet of some South American 

parrots. Foreign Birds 36: 1 69-1 71, 210-213. 
Mudge, G. P. 1903. On the myology of the tongue of parrots, with a classification of the 

order, based upon the structure of the tongue. Trans. %ool. Soc. Lond. 16: 211-278. 
Peters, J. L. 1937. Check-list of Birds of the World, vol. 3. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard. 
Thompson, D. W. 1900. On characteristic points in the cranial osteology of the parrots. 

Proc. %pol. Soc. Lond. (1899): 9-46. 

Address: British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts, England. 

Variation in juvenile plumage of Cent r opus toulou toulou 
(Miiller) and Centropus toulou insularis Ridgway 

by Rebecca Woodell 

Received 16 March 1976 

Centropus toulou toulou is known only from Madagascar. The subspecies C. t. 
insularis occurs on Aldabra Atoll. The only other subspecies, C. t. assump- 
tions Nicoll, from Assumption Island, is believed extinct (Stoddart et al. 
1970). Skins of juvenile C. t. toulou and C. t. insularis in the collections of the 
British Museum (Natural History), American Museum of Natural History 
and the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle were recently examined. 
Two different juvenile plumage types were found, which are described below. 
Names of colours were obtained from Smithe (1975). 

73 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

One type (Fig. ia) is dusky brown with some black on the upperparts, 
heavily barred buff-yellow on the mantle, merging into dense, more cinnamon- 
rufous speckling on the crown. The wings and upper wing-coverts are barred 
cinnamon-rufous and dusky brown. The tail and tail-coverts are dusky 
brown barred buff-yellow with a green wash. The underparts are heavily 
barred buff-yellow and dusky brown becoming darker on the abdomen. 

The second type is best represented by the single Aldabra bird (Fig. id). 
It is darker, more nearly black on the upperparts than the first type and the 

Figure 1 
Juvenile plumage types of Centropus toulou 

Left to right: — 

(a) Barred type from Imerina in the Humid East of Madagascar (Rand 1936). 

(b) Intermediate type from Maromandia on the northern edge of the Western Savanna 
close to the humid Sambiro District of Madagascar (Rand 1936). 

(c) Speckled type also from Maromandia. 

(d) Speckled type from Aldabra. 
(Photo: S. R. J. Woodell) 

mantle is speckled, not barred, with cream rather than cinnamon-rufous. 
Like the first type, it is speckled on the crown, but the markings are finer. 
The wings and wing-coverts are a colour between cinnamon-rufous and 
russet, barred with dusky brown. On the underparts differentiation between 
the two types is much less well defined, but the Aldabra bird has the mark- 
ings on the throat and chest more striated, less barred in pattern. Tail barrings 
varied considerably, without consistent differences in the two types. Both types 
show barring on the upper back, least so in the speckled birds, especially the 
Aldabra one. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 


Intermediates occur between these two types. These are speckled on the 
head and mantle with cinnamon or cinnamon-rufous rather than cream, and 
may also show dense speckling on the crown. 

Those specimens examined for which localities were given were sorted into 
representatives from humid and dry regions (Table 1). Co-ordinates were 
obtained from The Times Atlas of the World (1968), those for Ankafana (now 
Tsarafidy) and Imerina were kindly supplied by Mr. C. W. Benson. Other 
information was obtained from Rand (1936) and Farrow (1971). 


Relationship of juvenile plumage types of Centropus toulou to climate 

Coordinates Bio tic Division Specimen No. Notes 

of Madagascar* 

and date 

Speckled plumage 


Middle Island, 

9°24 , S 46°2o'E 

(Savanna 2 ) 

Brit. Mus. 

Fig. i, (d) 

East Channel 

(from Collectors 

21 Jan. 1968 


2 5°02'S 44°4o'E 


Brit. Mus. 
18 Mar. 1930 


i 5 23 , S49°44 / E 

Humid East 

Brit. Mus. 
9 May 1930 



i4°io'S 48°o6'E 

Western Savanna 

AMNH 411491 

Fig. i, (c) 

(1 day East) 


19 Jan. 1 93 1 


i4°io'S 48°o6'E 

Western Savanna 

Brit. Mus. 

(1 day East) 

19 Jan. 1931 

Intermediate plumage 


i4°io'S 48°o6'E 

Western Savanna 

MNHN Paris 

Fig. 1, (b) 

(1 day East) 

C.G. 1932 956 
25 Tan. 1931 


i4°io'S 48°o6'E 

Western Savanna 

MNHN Paris 

(1 day East) 

C.G. 1932 952 
27 Jan. 193 1 


i6°o5'S 45°2i'E 

Western Savanna 

MNHN Paris 

(1 day S. of 


C.G. 1932, 965 


Barred plumage 

12 Mar. 1 93 1 


c. i 9 °S 48°E 

Humid East 

AMNH 627833 
Feb. 1896 

Not fully 


c. i9°S 48°E 

Humid East 

AMNH 627834 
Feb. 1896 

Not fully 

Ankafana (now 

2i°o9'S 47°io'E 

Humid East 

Brit. Mus. 

Fig. 1, (a) 

Feb. 1881 

1 The biotic divisions of Madagascar are taken from Rand (1936: 215). 

2 For a discussion of the climatic classification of Aldabra see Farrow (1971 : 69). The cli- 
mate of Aldabra is compared with that of Diego Suarez which is located in Rand's 
Northern Savanna region of Madagascar. 

Of the four Madagascar specimens from Maromandia, which is on the 
border between the humid Sambirano District and the Western Savanna, 
two are speckled (Fig. ic) and two are intermediate (Fig. ib). The bird from 
Namaroka, in the Western Savanna is also intermediate. The Maroantsetra 


75 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

specimen is much advanced in moult, but it appears speckled rather than 
barred, and its darker colouring more closely resembles the speckled birds. 
Possibly additional specimens would reveal barred birds from this humid 

The remaining five juvenile specimens have no localities given, but they 
should also be mentioned as they show similar plumage variation. These are 
Brit. Mus. and AMNH 627844 which are barred, AMNH 627847 
and AMNH 627848 which are speckled and Brit. Mus. which is 

It appears that this difference in juvenile plumages of C. toulou is a 
geographical variation, the barred type being associated with the humid 
eastern regions of Madagascar and the speckled type with the drier western 
regions and Aldabra. Alternatively, it is possible that in certain habitats dark 
plumage is most suitable whereas in others a more contrasting light and dark 
pattern, whether speckled or barred, is more important for camouflage. This 
could help to explain why the birds from Maromandia (Fig. 1, b, c) both 
speckled and intermediate, are generally darker and less contrasting in 
colour than either (a) from the Humid East, which is barred or (d) from 
Aldabra, which is speckled. In humid Maroantsetra dark, less contrasting 
plumage may be the important factor rather than the plumage pattern itself. 
Further study would be worthwhile. 


I am especially grateful to Mr. C. W. Benson for his interest and advice and for his 
invaluable personal information concerning Madagascar localities. I wish to thank Dr. 
David Snow of the British Museum (Natural History) for making the facilities at Tring 
available to me, and M. Christian Erard of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle and 
Mr. John Farrand Jr. of the American Museum of Natural History for sending material. 
Mr. Farrand was most helpful when I visited the Museum. My husband and Dr. R. Hnatiuk 
offered much helpful comment. 

References : 

Farrow, G. E. 1971. The climate of Aldabra Atoll. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London B. 260: 

Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. 

Hist. 72: 143-499- 
Smithe, Frank B. 1975. Naturalist's Color Guide. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York. 
Stoddart, D. R., Benson, C. W. & Peake, J. F. 1970. Ecological change and effects of 

phosphate mining on Assumption Island. Atoll Res. Bull. 136: 121-145. 
The Times Atlas of the World. Comprehensive Edition. 1968. The Times Newspapers, 


Address: Quince Cottage, Oakley, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP 18 9QT. 

Layard's extralimital records in his Birds of South Africa 
and in the South African Museum 

by R. K. Brooke 

Received 22 January 19 j6 

The small print in Layard's Birds of South Africa (1867) contains records of 
species collected or observed in the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, the 
Indian Ocean, their islands and the east coast of Africa. These records do not 
appear to have been noticed by any subsequent writers on the avifaunas of 
any of these areas, including Reichenow (1900-1905) on Africa, Rand (1936) 
on Madagascar, Jackson & Sclater (1938) on Kenya, Frade (1953 a, b) on 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 76 

Mozambique, Benson (i960) on the Comoros, Watson et al. (1963) on the 
Indian Ocean islands, and Bannerman & Bannerman (1968) on the Cape 
Verde Islands. The purpose of this communication is to draw future workers* 
attention to so obscure a source of records — records which may indicate 
changes in distribution or abundance in certain species. Layard himself (pp. 
21, 54) believed that there had been at least a great increase in the numbers of 
Hirundo rustica wintering in South Africa after 1840. He also gives several 
records from Sri Lanka, but since he published separately on the avifauna of 
Ceylon, those records can probably be found there. 

Layard's journey through the Southern and Indian Oceans (pp. 331, 358, 
360, 365) was made in the survey frigate H.M.S. Castor under the command 
of his friend, Commodore, later Rear-Admiral, H. D. Trotter who com- 
manded the Cape of Good Hope station 18 54-1 85 7 (Laughton 1899). By 
deduction, the voyage was made in the second half of 1856 and early 1857. 
Layard had been appointed Curator of the South African Museum in Cape 
Town in December 1854 and was in Cape Town in January 1856 (Barry 
1975). Trotter returned to the United Kingdom in mid 1857 (Laughton 
1899). Southern Ocean sea birds were obtained off the Cape in 1856 (p. 360) 
and off Mozambique (see below), which implies Layard's presence there 
between July and October; and Palaearctic waders were obtained in Kenya in 
winter plumage (see below) which implies his presence there between Octo- 
ber and February. The second half of 1 8 5 6 and early 1857 ls tnus tne on ty 
time during which Layard and Trotter could have made the journey. 

Some, at least, of the specimens went to the South African Museum. I am 
advised by Prof. J. M. Winterbottom (in lift.) that none can now be found, 
but that in 1879 the then Curator, Roland Trimen, compiled a manuscript 
Catalogue of Foreign Birds in the museum. Prof. Winterbottom has listed for 
me those species noted as received from the voyage of H.M.S. Castor and 
some of the species are the same as those mentioned by Layard. Barry (1975) 
states that "Layard came back laden with shells, bird skins and insects" 
from that voyage in the western Indian Ocean. P. J. Morgan of the Liverpool 
Museum has advised C. W. Benson {in litt.) that no Layard specimens of the 
1850s and 1 860s were ever received there, though material collected in the 
1 870s came there via Canon H. B. Tristram's collection. 

I now list Layard's extralimital records by areas but with modernized 
nomenclature. For records mentioned in Layard (1867) the page number is 
given ; for specimens listed by Roland Trimen SAM (South African Museum) 
is given to indicate the source. 


Daption capense (p. 361). One seen at 3°N in November 1866 while 
returning to South Africa from leave in England : a vagrant so far north. 

Puffinus assimilis (SAM) ~\ _. , „ , . . 

Fngetta grallaria (SAM) / In the South Atlantlc - 

Neophron percnopterus (p. 4). Common breeding species in the Cape Verde 


Diomedea exulans and D. chrysostomus (both SAM and pp. 363, 364-365). 
Eggs of D. exulans received from Crozet and Tristan da Cunha Islands. Skins 
of both species were obtained but without details except that Layard states 
that one of chrysostomus was obtained "off the South Coast". 

77 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

Fregetta grallaria (SAM and pp. 358-359). Includes a specimen from 
nearly 500 km west of Cape Town, May 1867. From Layard's description 
clearly this species, not F. tropica. 

Fulmarus glacialoides; Pterodroma lessonii; P. incerta; P. mollis; P. macroptera 
and Procellaria aequinoctialis (all SAM, at 32°46'S., 59°i3'E., also p. 360 for 
P. macroptera). 

Pachyptila vittata and P. desolata (both SAM, at 40°2o'S., 4i°oo'E.). 

Of the four Pterodroma spp. Layard mentions only P. macroptera in his 
book, and states specifically (p. 361) that he had never seen a specimen of 
Fulmarus glacialoides. Yet on pp. 360 and 365 he states that he sailed the Cape 
seas in H.M.S. Castor and obtained Pterodroma macroptera and Diomedea 
chrysostoma. However, Layard wrote 10 years after the event, and his duties 
as a civil servant precluded museum work except for one day per week 
(Barry 1975). 


Ardea leucoptera (p. 309). A synonym of Ardeola, the squacco herons, but 
it is not possible to say whether he was referring to A. ralloides, A. idae or 
even some species of Egret ta or Bubulcus: no specimens were, apparently, 

Butorides striatus (p. 309). Collected. 

Leptoptilos crumemferus (p. 316). Often seen. 

Circaetus gallicus pectoralis (p. 15). Two collected on Fazi Island and others 
seen along the coast in pairs. 

Milvus migrans parasitus (p. 26). Seen. 

Aery Ilium vulturinum (SAM). Two specimens. 

Pluvialis squatarola (p. 295). Many collected in non-breeding plumage. 

P. apricaria (p. 296). Probably P. dominica, since there is no other record of 

P. apricaria in Africa (see Backhurst et al. 1973) : Lamu northwards. 

Numenius arquata (p. 322). Widespread. 

Layard and a Lieut Suttee found a massed flock of waders on a mudbank at 
Fazi Island, so they approached and each discharged both barrels of their 
fowling pieces. The majority of birds killed and recovered, enough to fill a 
naval bread bag, were Calidris ferruginea (p. 331), but C. minuta, C. alba, 
Tringa erythropus, T. nebularia were also obtained, and Charadrius alexandrinus, 
probably the migratory nominate race rather than the sparse resident pons, 
since the other species were all Palaearctic migrants. T. erytbropus is the only 
Palaearctic migrant mentioned by Layard at Fazi to be discussed by Back- 
hurst et al. (1973), who believed that the first specimen from Kenya was 
obtained in 1953. 

Dromas ardeola (p. 372). Widespread; SAM held two specimens from Lamu. 

Tockus alboterminatus (SAM) \ Collected from Kisilu- 

Collyrio corvinus {—Lanius collurio?) (SAM) J dini, just north of Kilifi. 


Ardea leucoptera (p. 309). Butorides striatus (p. 309). Collected. Leptoptilos 
crumeniferus (p. 316). 

Circaetus gallicus pectoralis (p. 1 5). 
Terathopius ecaudatus (p. 18). 
Milvus migrans parasitus (p. 26). 
Pluvialis squatarola (p. 295). Collected. 
Numenius arquata (p. 322). 
Dromas ardeola (p. 372 and SAM). 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 78 

(3) Zanzibar 

Nectarinia senegaknsis (p. 80). Common, two specimens in SAM. 
Ploceus {Hyphantornis) sp. (SAM). 

(4) Mozambique Coast 

Procellaria aequinoctialis (p. 360). Not rare. 

Oceanites oceanicus (SAM). 

Ardea leucoptera (p. 309). 

Butorides striatus (p. 309). Collected. 

Leptoptilos crumeniferus (p. 316). Collected at the mouth of the Zambezi 

Dendrocygna viduata (p. 350). Common on the lower Zambezi. 

Milvus migrans parasitus (p. 26). 

Terathopius ecaudatus (p. 1 8). A live bird, presented by the Governor of 
Mozambique Town, proved to be a great eater of hens' eggs when kept in a 

Cape Town fowl run : this bird, or another from Mozambique, was prepared 
as a specimen for SAM. 

Pluvialis squatarola (p. 295). Collected. Numenius arquata (p. 322). 

Dromas ardeola (p. 372). 

Nectarinia violacea (p. 79). Building a nest in a beachside Casuarina tree at 
Cabo Delgado. The species intended is obscure since the distinctive N. 
violacea is restricted to the southwest of the Cape Province of South Africa 
where Layard (same page) knew it well. 

N. senegaknsis (pp. 79 and 80). Collected while building a nest in a beach- 
side Casuarina at Cabo Delgado. 

(5) Comoro Islands 

Butoridess triatus (p. 309). Collected. 

Circus spilonotus macrosceks (p. 35), sub nom. C. cinerascens = C. pygargus; 
but the specimen that Layard mentions from Anjouan was listed in SAM as 
C. maillardii (= macrosceks), and he adds that the species was common, as 
Benson (i960) also found; so that a vagrant C. pygargus from the Comoros 
is ruled out. 

(6) Madagascar 

Egretta gularis (p. 307). Collected in Boyana Bay on the northwest coast. 

E. ardesiaca (SAM). 

Dendrocygna viduata (p. 350 and SAM). Abundant in the swamps and rice- 
fields and very easy of approach. 

Earns novaehollandiae (SAM). A species restricted to the western Cape and 
Australasia and presumably an error for L. cirrocephalus in non-breeding 
plumage, which then resembles it closely. E. cirrocephalus does occur in 
Madagascar (Rand 1936). 

Dryolimnas cuvieri, Coracopsis nigra, Agapornis cana and Eurystomus glaucurus 
also held by SAM. 

On pp. 1 5 5 and 245 Layard discussed the Malagasy provenance of some of 
Levaillant's allegedly South African species. 

(7) Mauritius 
Puffinus pacificus chororhynchus , Phaethon lepturus, Butorides striatus (also p. 

79 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 

309), Francolinus pintadeanus, Aerodramus francicaus and Coracina typica, all held 
by SAM. 

Terpsipbone bourbonnensis (p. 146). Nest with c/3 collected. 

(8) Round Island, Mauritius 

Puffinus pacificus chlororhynchus ', two specimens of Phaethon rubricauda, two 
specimens of Sula dactylatra, all held by SAM. 

Fregata minor (SAM). Not recorded from the Mauritius group by Watson 
et al. (1963), though Benson (1970) records specimens collected in 1865. 

Sterna fuscata (SAM). 

(9) Sandy Island, Rodriguez 
Sula sula (SAM). 

S. dactylatra (SAM). Not recorded here by Watson et al. (1963), though 
regarded as probably occurring by Bourne (1968). 

Larus novaehollandiae (= cirrocephalus) (SAM). Not recorded here by 
Watson et al. (1963). 

Anous stoldidus, A. tenuirostris, Gygis alba, all held by SAM. The three 
terns are still present on Sandy Island (Gill 1967). 

(10) Farquhar Island, Providence Bank 
Fregata minor (SAM). Two specimens. 
Bubulcus ibis (SAM). One specimen. 

Larus novaehollandiae ( = cirrocephalus) (SAM). One specimen. 

Sterna sumatrana, S. caspia, Gygis alba, all held by SAM, one specimen of 
each. F. minor, B. ibis, L. cirrocephalus and S. caspia are not recorded for the 
Providence Bank group by Watson et al. (1963), but Stoddart & Poore (1970) 
and Parker (1970) do record F. minor and B. ibis. The visit of H.M.S. Castor 
to Farquhar Island is not mentioned by Stoddart & Poore (1970) in their 
account of its history. 

It is curious that no Larus spp. are recorded by any modern writer for 
islands in the western Indian Ocean. One is tempted to doubt the records 
from Farquhar and Sandy Islands in the 1850s, but there is no positive 
evidence compelling doubt other than the lack of records for the last 20 
years, a period of intensive study of the avifauna of these islands. 

I am obliged to Prof. J. M. Winterbottom for data on specimens formerly held by the 
South African Museum, Cape Town, to Dr. F. R. Fosberg for a copy of Atoll. Res. Bull. 
136, to Mr. C. W. Benson for help with the literature, a critique of a draft of this paper and, 
indeed, urging that it be written. 

References : 

Backhurst, G. C, Britton, P. L. & Mann, C. F. 1973. The less common palaearctic migrant 
birds of Kenya and Tanzania. Journ. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. Natn. Mus. 140: 1-38. 

Bannerman, D. A. & Bannerman, W. M. 1968. History of the birds of the Cape Verde Islands. 
Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd. 

Barry, T. H. 1975. 150 years — an assessment. Samab 11 : 249-260. 

Benson, C. W. i960. The birds of the Comoro Islands. Ibis 103b: 5-106. 

— 1970. The Cambridge collection from the Malagasy Region. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90: 

Bourne, W. R. P. 1968. The birds of Rodriguez, Indian Ocean. Ibis no: 338-344. 
Frade, F. 1953a. Aves coligidas pela missao zoologica de Mocambique. Anais Junta Miss. 
Geogr. Invest. Colon, vol. 6(4), fasc. 3. 

— 1953b. Catalogo das aves de Mocambique. Anais Junta Miss. Geogr. Invest. Colon, vol. 
6(4), fasc. 4. 

Gill, F. B. 1967. Birds of Rodriguez Island (Indian Ocean). Ibis 109: 383-390. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(2)] 80 

Jackson, F. J. & Sclater, W. L. 1938. The birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate, 

vols. 1-3. London, Gurney & Jackson. 
Laughton, J. K. 1899. "Trotter, Henry Dundas." Dictionary of national biography 57: 252- 

254. London, Smith, Elder. 
Layard, E. L. 1867. The birds of South Africa. Cape Town, Juta. 
Parker, I. S. C. 1970. Some ornithological observations from the western Indian Ocean. 

Atoll. Res. Bull. 136: 211-220. 
Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. 

Hist. 72: 143-499. 
Reichenow, A. 1900-1905. Die Vogels Afrikas, vols. 1-3, Neudamm, Neumann. 
Stoddart, D. R. & Poore, M. E. D. 1970. Geography and ecology of Farquhar Atoll. Atoll 

Res. Bull. 136: 7-26. 
Watson, G. R., Zusi, R. L. & Storer, R. E. 1963. Preliminary field guide to the birds of the 

Indian Ocean. Washington, Smithsonian Inst. 

Present address: Box 1690, Salisbury, Rhodesia. 


(a) Caprimu/gus sericocaudatus mengeli subsp. nov. 

1 regret that I made an error in transcribing the locality of the type of the 
subspecies Caprimu/gus sericocaudatus mengeli in Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95 (1): 19. 
Under "Type . . ." the locality cited should be 59km west, not east, of 

29 March 1976 Robert W. Dickerman 

Cornell University Medical College 

1300 York Avenue 

New York, New York 100 21 

(b) Vagrant Lapwings Vanellus spp. in Brunei 

A single Lapwing Vanellus vanellus was observed for 10-15 minutes through 
a 8 X 30 monocular at distances down to 15 m at 17.15 hours on 11 January 
1976 on a flooded grassy area, known as G14 of the Shell concession area, 
Seria, State of Brunei. The bird was in typical winter plumage, and had a 
large crest. There appear to be no other records in Borneo, and it is usually 
considered that the species' southernmost winter quarters range southwards 
from eastern China and westwards to north and central Burma. This indi- 
vidual was thus 1 5 ° south of its usual range. 

On 28 November 1974 a Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus had 
appeared on the same plot of land. This was first sighted by myself and later 
confirmed by Mr. D. Griffin and also photographed. It is a species which 
normally winters from south Japan through southeast China and the Indo- 
Chinese countries to India. I believe that such vagrants are the victims of the 
monsoons from November to January and are literally ^jKfipt southwards out 
of their normal range. It would be interesting to hear of other records which 
might be ascribed to the same conditions. 

c u , /«> NAT. h:st. 2$ 

2 February 1976 I 1 -> ,-, M P. Smith 

Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd. \ _s PU RCHASED x 9 

Seria, State of Brunei, Borneo. 

Y \> yf" 


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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 


British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 96 No. 3 

September 1 976 


Tuesday, 16 November 1976 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Senior Common Room, South 
Side, Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance in Princes Gardens, S.W.7, off 
Exhibition Road). Dr. H. N. Southern will speak on the Tawny Owl. 

Tuesday, 18 January 1977 at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, London, W.i. Dr. -Peter 
Ward will speak on Palaearctic migrants in Nigeria. 

Tuesday, ij March 1977. Mr. J. M. Forshaw, the author of the well-known monograph 
on parrots, will speak on the ecology of parrots in Australia and their adaptations to changing 

Tuesday, 3 May 1977. A symposium on Asiatic birds. 


J. H. Elgood (Chairman) P. Hogg (Vice-Chair man) 

R. E. F. Peal (Hon. Secretary) M. St. J. Sugg (Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk (Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison C. E. Wheeler 

Dr. G. Beven 

8 1 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol. 96 No. 3 Published: 20 September 1976 

The seven hundred and first meeting of the Club was held at the Goat 
Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, London, W.i, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 20 July 1976. 

Chairman: Professor J. H. Elgood: present 16 members and 5 guests. 

Mr. Robert Gillmor spoke on Bird Illustration. He described the develop- 
ment up to the present time of the art of depicting birds and showed slides 
with outstanding examples of bird drawings and paintings. 

Breeding records of Hemprich's Hornbill 
Tockus hemprichii in Tigrai, Ethiopia 

by L. H. Brown 

Received 2) December 197 j 

The nest of Hemprich's Hornbill Tockus hemprichii had not been adequately 
described until one found in the cliffs above Lake Langano, Ethiopia, in April 
1970 was described by Urban et al. (1970). In Tigrai in 1975 three more 
definite nests were found, and one probable one, all in rock sites, as follows : 

(i) On 1 5 Oct 75, in a vertical cliff near the base of Deb re Zhion mountain, 
near Dugum, a nest was found about 1 5 cm inside a hole about 12m from 
the base of the sandstone cliff. The hole had been visibly plastered, apparently 
with reddish mud, with a narrow oval slit in the centre. The male was seen 
to present a large grasshopper to another bird in the nest, which was inac- 
cessible, but from the absence of any droppings round the entrance it 
presumably contained a female with eggs. In this case the eggs would have 
been laid in late September or early October. 

(ii) In a sandstone cliff near Dugum 17 Oct 75 there was a nest which could 
not be closely examined because it was screened by forest and the entrance 
not properly visible from immediately below. It was about 10 m above the 
base of the cliff in a long vertical crack and under a large overhang, and 
contained young, which were watched being fed by the female, recognisable 
by her smaller size and smaller, more slender beak. The young emitted loud 
yelping cries, so presumably were large. Since Urban et al. (1970) estimated 
that the female remained in the hole for 60-70 days after laying, the eggs 
from which these young hatched would probably have been laid in early 
August, perhaps late July. The female was flying strongly and not obviously 
in moult. 

(iii) On 31 Oct 75 a nest was found at Romanat, near Makelle, in a hole in 
a rock face above a small cave, at about 4 m from the base of a travertine cliff. 
The hole could be examined closely from immediately opposite on another 
rock, and was seen to turn into the cliff at an angle, the plastered entrance 
being heavily spattered with droppings. The male fed other birds in the hole 
at about 16.30 hrs with a skink, Mabuya sp. He had difficulty in maintaining 
a purchase on the entrance ledge, and flew to and from the hole at least 1 5 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 82 

times in about five minutes, sometimes delivering food when he was able to 
stay for a few seconds, and sometimes overbalancing and failing. High pitched 
yelps, and querulous deeper squealing calls suggested that both female and 
young were in the hole. The skink was gradually reduced in size in successive 
visits, as pieces were presumably bitten off by the bird being fed. However, 
the male eventually departed with the head and part of the body, calling the 
normal piping "Pi-pi-pi-pioh" as he left. In this nest, eggs were probably 
laid in September. 

(iv) A male flew up to a narrow slit in a travertine cliff in the Giba river 
valley on 21 Sep 75. He had a small lizard, but it was not taken by any bird 
in the hole, and he then flew 30 m and probably ate it himself. However, his 
behaviour was consistent with the likelihood of a female in the hole, which 
was inaccessible. 

In all instances where feeding was seen the feeding bird stayed only a few 
seconds at the aperture; if the food was not immediately accepted it was taken 
away again. 

These records all suggest that in Tigrai, Tockus hemprichii breeds mainly or 
only in cliff sites, resembling in this respect Monteiro's Hornbill T. monteiri 
in South West Africa (Kemp & Kemp) 1972 and that it is a rock breeder, 
since there were trees which could have been used at all the sites if preferred. 
Laying must take place from August to October, late in the main rains or just 
after. Young would normally emerge in November, at the beginning of the 
main dry season, but when insect life at least is still abundant. As in other 
Tockus spp. the female evidently emerges when the young are part-grown, 
and then assists in feeding the brood. The eggs of Hemprich's Hornbill have 
apparently still to be described. 

References : 

Kemp, A. C. & Kemp, M. I. 1972. A study of the biology of Monteiro's Hornbill. Ann. 

Transv. Mus. 27: 255-268. 
Urban, E. K., Brown, L. H., Buer, C. E. & Plage, G. D. 1970. Four descriptions of nesting 

previously undescribed from Ethiopia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90(6): 162-164. 

Address: Box 24916, Karen, Kenya. 

The tendinal canals of the hypotarsi as a taxonomic 
character of water birds 

by C. J. 0. Harrison 

Received 1 z January 19J6 

The long digit flexor tendons of the legs of birds, where they pass down the 
back of the leg over the tarsal joint, are held in place at the upper end of the 
tarsometatarsus by grooves in a posteriorly-projecting structure, the 
hypotarsus. Bands of cartilaginous tissue may roof over or subdivide these 
grooves, creating covered canals for the tendons ; or there may be a roof of 
bone so that the canals become holes passing through a bony hypotarsus. 
The arrangement of these grooves and apertures may help in the identifi- 
cation of the species, genus, family and sometimes the order from which the 
hypotarsus originates, and this is particularly useful in avian fossils, since the 
proximal end of the tarsometatarsus is a solid structure which is often 
preserved when other bones have been destroyed. Identification of such 

8 3 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

fossil specimens is, however, usually difficult because of abrasion of the 
roofed portions of canals and the more prominent parts of the calcaneal 
ridges between them. 

No systematic study of these canals appears to have been made. In general, 
comparative osteological studies have been limited to a single order at most, 
and often only to small taxa or single species. Newton (1896) commented, 
with reservations, on the taxonomic value of the hypotarsus but only 
referred to some general similarities, while other authors of general works 
on birds have paid it little attention. To help identify the bones of fossil water 
birds the hypotarsal structure of Recent birds of a similar type was also 
noted. In the Sphenisciformes, Gaviiformes, Podicipediformes, Procel- 
lariiformes, Pelecaniformes, Ciconiiformes, Anseriformes, and Charadrii- 
formes the hypotarsal structure is fairly elaborate in most families (Fig. 1), 
the only other order with comparable complexity being the Passeriformes 
(Fig. 2), and this group of orders forms a suitable unit for comparisons. 

Many orders show more structural dissimilarities from each other in the 
hypotarsi than are apparent between families, and canals may be open or 
closed and differ in number. Such differences are presumably linked with 
variation in form and function of the hindlimb. Nevertheless there are 
consistencies in structure within an order which are listed later. Within a 
family there is usually a consistent and recognisable pattern, but there are 
often small differences which make it possible to differentiate at the generic 
level (e.g. Fig. 1, E4-5, E9-10), and rarely more marked dissimilarities (Fig. 
1, A 1-2). Sometimes consistent differences are recognisable even at the 
species level (e.g. Fig. 1, D1-3, F3-4). Within these taxa the hypotarsal 
structure can be a useful character for identifying tarsometatarsi. 

The tendinal canals are not the only feature affecting hypotarsal shape. 
Muscles such as the M. flexor hallucis brevis and M. abductor digiti II 
originate on, and may modify the calcaneal ridges. Owre (1967), for instance, 
shows that the considerable development of the external calcaneal ridge of 
the Phalacrocoracidae (Fig. 1, D7) and Anhingidae (Fig. 1, D5) is correlated 
with the fact that it serves as an area of insertion for the muscles providing 
the power-stroke in swimming. 

In the birds of the orders studied the presence of several closed canals 
appears at times to be correlated with a more generalised overall structure; 
while more open canals and a more modified hypotarsus appear to be linked 
with greater specialisation, suggesting that the latter is a derived state. The 
presence of a large number of closed canals in a simple hypotarsus in the 
passerines may be related to this. The suboscine Superb Lyrebird Menura 
superba (Fig. 2, A) has six closed canals. The Raven Corvus corax (Fig. 2, B) has 
only five, one being constricted and apparently derived from two small 
canals, which arrangement occurs in other species ; but four canals arranged 
in two pairs, as in the Dunnock Prunella nodularis (Fig. 2, C), is more 
frequent. The Raven and Dunnock are typical perchers and hoppers while 
the Lyrebird is more terrestrial and may run like a gallinaceous bird. It could 
be argued that the possession of a large hypotarsus perforated by a number 
of canals, usual in the typical hopping and running birds, is a generalised 
avian condition; and that the hypotarsi of other birds show divergences from 
this, linked with modifications of the limb and its uses and involving the loss 
of covered canals. 

Fig. 1 shows the range of variation of hypotarsi within each of the orders 
studied, progressing from those with more closed canals to the derived 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

o © 


A 2 






D 1 







F 1 


<^\ pt| 






G 3 



£l\ f ^ 


Fig. 1 : Proximal views of fight hypotarsi ; the posterior side at top. A. PROCELLARII- 
FORMES. A 1 Pelecanoides urinatrix, A 2 Fulmarus glacialis, A3 Oceanodroma c astro, A4 Diomedia 
melanophrys. B. PODICIPITIDAE. Bi Podilymbus podiceps, B2 Podiceps cri status. C. 
GAVIIDAE. Ci Colymboides minutus (after Storer 1956), C2 Caw* immer. D. PELECANI- 
FORMES. Di Pelecanus crispus, D2 Pelecanus occidentalism D3 Pelecanus onocrotalus, D4 Balaeni- 
ceps rex> D5 Anhinga anbinga, D6 JWtf dactylatra, D7 Phalacrocorax carbo, D8 Phaethon aethureus, 
D9 Fregata aquila. E. CICONIIFORMES. Ei Botaurus stellaris, E2 Scopus umbretta, E3 Cofl&- 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 








H 1 

H 2 

H 3 

learius cochlearius, E4 Ardea cinerea, E5 Nycticorax nycticorax, E6 Plegadisfalcinellus, E7 ^/3/tf 
ajaja, E8 Geronticus calvus, E9 Dissouria episcopus, Eio Mycteria amerkana. F. CHARADRII- 
FORMES. Fi Scolopax rusticolus, F2 v4Zra /oritf, F3 Cepphus grylle, F4 Numenius arquata, F5 
Larus argentatus, F6 Larus marinus, F7 Haematopus ostralegus, F8 Himantopus himantopus. G. 
ANSERIFORMES. Gi Dendrocygna viduata, G2 Anseranas semipalmata, G3 Bi^iura lobata, 
G4 Aythya fuligula, G5 Qjgiwj columbianus . H. PHOENICOPTERIFORMES. Hi & H2 
Palasolodus ambiguus, H3 Phoenicopterus chilensis . I. SPHENISCIFORMES./^0jy£//'jtf«te/r//Vtf 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 86 

A B C 

Fig. 2 : Proximal view of right hypotarsi of Passeriformes, the posterior side at the top. 
A Manura superba. B. Corvus cor ax. C Prunella modularis. 

examples. Relative size was considered unimportant and individual figures 
are not therefore comparable in size. They are arranged with the posterior 
side of the hypotarsus at the top. 

Despite variations, some general consistency, as well as difference, is 
apparent in the patterns of canals within orders, and this might be used as an 
ordinal character. Although, among water birds, the extinct, diver-like 
toothed birds, the Hesperornithidae, and the other toothed birds, the 
Ichthyornithidae, both of the Cretaceous, lack a prominent hypotarsus and 
show no evidence of grooves or ridges, Recent water birds have a definite 
hypotarsus with typically four or fewer canals. Of the more complex 
hypotarsi, those of the Charadriiformes (Fig. 1, F) and Anseriformes (G) are 
comparatively similar, but in the former I recognise three posterior and one 
anterior canal, (Fi), and in the latter one posterior and three anterior (Gi, 
G3). In the Pelecaniformes (D), the Pelecanidae show two posterior canals, 
one posterior to the other, and two anterior, although in addition the last 
pair may be bordered by a well-defined external groove. In the Ciconiiformes 
(E), the Ardeidae (Ei, E3, E4, E5) show one posterior and two anterior 
canals. The Procellariiformes (A) have two anterior canals, with an indi- 
cation of two incomplete open canals posterior to these in Pelecanoides (Ai). 
The Podicipediformes (B) are atypical, with two or three posterior and one 
large and centrally sited anterior canal ; while in the Gaviiformes (C) at least 
three canals coalesce into one large hole enclosed in an arch formed by the 
convergence of a pair of large calcaneal ridges. The antithesis of the latter is 
shown by the Sphenisciformes (I) in which the broad, flat tarsometatarsus 
bears two small prominences with a wide and shallow double canal between 

These generalisations, however, cease to be apparent in the more extremely 
modified examples, although classification is aided by knowing some of the 
intervening stages of modification. For example, on the characters used here 
it would be difficult to link the Phaethontidae (D8) or Fregatidae (D9) with 
other pelecaniform families, or the Black-winged Stilt (F8) with other 
Charadriiformes . 

Within the orders studied there are several small taxa of uncertain affinities 
for which any evidence of relationship is important. The Hammerkop 
Scopus umbretta belongs to a monotypic family usually thought to be close 
to the storks. The distinctive hypotarsus (Fig. 1, E2) with two closed canals 
and an open posterior one shows some similarities to those of herons such 
as C. cochlearius (E3) and Ardea cinerea (E4), but little obvious similarity to 
Ciconiidae (E9-10). However, if a hypotarsus with a number of closed canals 

87 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

is an earlier and more generalised structure, then the Hammerkop may be an 
instance in which an isolated species has retained a generalised condition. 

The Shoebill Balaenkeps rex, another species of uncertain affinities in a 
monotypic family, is usually regarded as ciconiiform; but Cottam (1957) 
showed that most of its osteological features resembled those of the 
Pelecaniformes, including the hypotarsus. The latter (D4) bears a strong 
resemblance to that of the White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus (D5), in which 
the posterior canals are reduced to a single groove. It could be argued, on 
the other hand, that the hypotarsus of Balaenkeps is a much more massive 
version of that found in the Boatbill Heron C. cochlearius (E3) of the 

The Phoenicopteridae are usually placed in the Ciconiiformes, although 
separation into a single-family order (Voous 1973) or association with the 
Anseriformes has also been proposed (Sibley et al. 1969). The hypotarsus 
(H3) consists of a pair of well-developed calcaneal ridges with a deep, 
complex groove between them. In the Charadriiformes, which show a wide 
range of variation in hypotarsal structure, H. himantopus (F8) has a somewhat 
similar but more slender hypotarsus, representing the extreme in a trend of 
modification by which the more complex structure is reduced to two large 
calcaneal ridges in a laterally-compressed hypotarsus, with a single and deep 
complex groove derived from a group of tendinal canals between them. Since 
this species differs from other charadriiformes in its exceptionally long legs, 
and similar long legs are characteristic of the Phoenicopteridiae, and since the 
long-legged Threskiornithidae and Ciconiidae have stages in the develop- 
ment of a similar hypotarsus (E6-10), it is possible that such a structure 
represents a derived condition linked with function and likely to be evolved 
independently in a number of taxa. If so, then the affinities and possible 
derivation of the phoenicopterid hypotarsus might be found in a taxon other 
than the Ciconiiformes. 

The extinct family Palaeolodidae of the Oligocene and Miocene consists of 
long-legged and long-necked birds, possibly ancestral to the Phoenicopteri- 
dae, having a distinctive hypotarsus (Hi -2) showing the apparently 
generalised condition with several closed canals. Some specimens lack a 
complete bridging of the canals (as in H2). Modification of such hypotarsi by 
lateral compression and loss of bone between the canals might produce a 
structure resembling that of the Phoenicopteridae (H3), although a typical 
phoenicopterine hypotarsus with the deep single groove is already apparent 
in the Upper Oligocene flamingo Gervaisia croiseti. A similar reduction of 
bone between the canals and an increase in the size of the lateral ridges is 
apparent in a comparison of the Late Oligocene/Miocene diver Colymboides 
mtnutus (Ci) with the Recent Great Northern Diver Gavia immer (C2). 

If the hypotarsus of Palaeolodus species is the precursor of that of the 
Phoenicopteridae, then any similarity of the former to those of other taxa 
might help to elucidate earlier affinities. If the incomplete ossification over the 
canals already apparent in the second Palaeolodus specimen shown (H2) were 
carried a stage further the structure would then closely resemble that of the 
Woodcock Scolopax rusticolus (Fi). Within the Anseriformes the nearest 
resemblance to Palaeolodus is that of the White-faced Tree Duck Dendrocygna 
viduata (Gi), but this is less close than that of Scolopax. These apparent 
similarities might be evidence of affinity since an examination of the Telma- 
batidae (Harrison & Walker in press) of the Lower Eocene reveals a probable 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 88 

link between Charadriiformes, Anseriformes and probably Phoenicopteridae 
at this period. 

These examples show that the hypotarsal structure may be a useful, though 
limited, taxonomic character by which to refer a species to a particular taxon 
and possibly indicate its affinities. There is some evidence at the ordinal level 
of similarities of the hypotarsus in families of known affinity. This may be of 
use for extinct species of unknown origin not referable to a Recent family 
and represented by only part of a skeleton; or for Recent species of unknown 
affinity it may provide clues to possible relationship which could help in a 
re-appraisal of their taxonomic position. 

References : 

Cottam, P. 1957. The Pelecaniform characters of the skeleton of the Shoe-bill Stork, 
Balaeniceps rex. Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Zool) 5 : 51-72. 

Harrison, C. J. O. & Walker, C. A. in press. Birds of the British Upper Eocene./. Linn. 
Soc. Lond. 

Newton, A. 1896. A Dictionary of Birds. London: A. & C. Black. 

Owre, O. T. 1967. Adaptations for locomotion and feeding in the Anhinga and the Double- 
crested Cormorant. Orn. Monogr. 6: 1-138. 

Sibley, C. G., Corbin, K. W. & Haavie, J. H. 1969. The relationships of the Flamingos as 
indicated by the egg-white proteins and hemoglobins. Condor 71 : 155-179. 

Storer, R. W. 1956. The fossil loon, Colymboides minutus. Condor 58: 413-426. 

Voous, K. H. 1973. List of Recent Holarctic bird species, non-passerines. Ibis 115: 612-638. 

Address: British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts. HP23 6AP. 

A record of White-winged Wood Duck 

Cairina scutulata in Sumatra 

by D. A. Holmes 

Received 19 March ip/6 

The White-winged Wood Duck Cairina scutulata is probably reduced to 
near extinction over most of South-East Asia (Boonsong & Cronin 1974, 
Hoogerwerf 1970), but it still occurs in south Sumatra. Two were flushed 
from a swamp close to the Batang Hari river at Muara Bulian, west of Jambi 
in south Sumatra (i° 45' S, 103 15' E) on 18 January 1976. The birds were 
seen again on four further visits during the following two weeks. 

The habitat was a swamp covering a total area of some 5 o hectares that is 
used for low quality rice each year if water levels permit. The swamp carries 
a varying density of swamp grasses and sedges, some floating vegetation, 
and patches of both open water and of exposed mud. Scattered trees remain 
standing in the swamp, some of them dead, and dead logs lie on the surface. 
A grove of open woodland and secondary growth occupies one part of the 
swamp. The duck used these trees for perches but they would also fly off 
to the surrounding secondary forest and stands of poorly managed rubber. 
The swamp receives some slight disturbance from fishermen, buffalo 
herders, and occasional rice cultivation; but the bird life is probably never 
deliberately disturbed. The birds were shy when on the ground and readily 
put to flight. When perched in a tree, they were surprisingly well camou- 
flaged and were more approachable. 

In flight they called more or less continuously, a goose or crane-like 
honk, with which was often heard simultaneously a high whistled note 

89 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

when both birds were flying together. This agrees with the description of 
Stanford (193 1) writing of the Upper Chindwin district of Burma: "the 
drake and duck of two pairs seen here had separate notes, like Shelduck 
[presumably Tadorna tadorna] in the breeding season, the drake a low "cronk 
cronk" and the female a whistle, when on the wing". The honking note 
reminded me of the West African Crowned Crane Balearica pavonina. 

Each visit was made between dawn and 09.00 in the morning or 17.00 and 
18.00 in the evening, and one or both birds were each time flushed from the 
open swamp. The assumption that the birds were a pair is supported by the 
calls, although the size difference between the birds was not pronounced. 
The head and neck of the slightly larger bird were dirty white, and a clean 
white on the other, with some fine black speckling visible at close range. The 
plumage of the back in one and probably both birds was white, with heavy 
black mottling and barring, squarely demarcated from the black tail. The 
white wing coverts were prominent and contrasted strongly with the rest of 
the wing, which appeared black except in a favourable light. It was difficult 
to discern the distribution of white and black on the rest of the body, but 
the breast and belly appeared to be black, with some white markings, and 
larger white squares on the sides of the upper breast. 

Hoogerwerf (1950) considers that C. scutulata of the Greater Sundas can be 
distinguished from the continental population by a conspicuous amount of 
albinism on the body, but he did not separate it into a subspecies. 

At a wooded ox-bow lake at Danau Saranglang, near the village of 
Serasak, 20 km from Muara Bulian, the bird is known by local people as an 
occasional visitor, under the appropriate name of "itik hutan", meaning 
forest duck. It seems reasonable to assume that this duck may be still toler- 
ably common is south Sumatra, where similar habitat is thought to be 
widespread and population density and hunting pressures are low. However, 
full aerial photographic cover would be necessary for estimating the total 
amount of suitable habitat. 

[Since this article was submitted the author has confirmed the presence of 
the species in Lampung*Province of southernmost Sumatra, when a pair was 
seen at Lake Jepara on 30 June 1976. "Suitable habitat is plentiful in this 
province but is rapidly disappearing owing to heavy immigration of settlers 
from Java" — Ed.]. 

I am grateful to D. R. Wells in Kuala Lumpur for his comments on a first draft of this 

References : 

Boonsong, Lekagul & Cronin, E. W. 1974. Bird Guide oj 'Thailand (second edition). Bangkok : 
Association for the Conservation of Wildlife. 

Hoogerwerf, A. 1950. De Wit vleugeleend Cairina scutulata van de Grote^Sunda Eilanden. 
Ardea. 38: 64. 

— 1970. On the ornithology of the Rhino Sanctuary Udjung Kulon in West Java 
(Indonesia). Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam. Soc. 23 : 447. 

Stanford, J. K. 1931. The Birds of the Prome District of Lower Burma, with notes on the 
collection by Dr. Claud B. Ticehurst, Part III./. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 35 : 32-50. 

Address: The Old Rectory, Sudborough, Kettering, Northants, U.K. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 90 

Additions to the avifaunas of Sumatra and Kalimantan, 


by W. G. Harvey & D. A. Holmes 

Received 19 March 1976 

Avkeda leuphotes (Contributed by D. A. Holmes) 

A party of about ten Black-crested Bazas roosted in open woodland near 
Palembang in south Sumatra on the night of 19-20 November 1974, and on 
18 January 1976 four were seen flying north at low elevation near Muara 
Bulian in Jambi province (i° 45' S, 103 15' E). There are no previous 
records for the island of Sumatra, nor apparently for Indonesia as a whole. 
The observer was familiar with the species in south Thailand, and it is 
readily identifiable by its crow-like shape, alternate flapping/gliding flight, 
and distinctive black and white plumage. 

Migratory flocks crossing the Straits of Malacca are seen regularly from 
Cape Rachado (2 2 5 ' N) on the Malayan coast during November-December 
and March- April (Medway & Wells 1976, Wells pers. comm.), which sug- 
gests that Sumatra is within the normal wintering range. It is surprising that 
such a conspicuous hawk should have been overlooked there until now. 

Calidris subminuta (Contributed by W. G. Harvey) 

Robinson & Kloss (1923) list Long-toed Stint (as Limonites minutella 
subminuta) as occurring in Sumatra. However their record is not substantiated 
by Chasen (1935) or King et al. (1975), probably because of their statement 
on page 356: "As regards our own list we have recorded as Sumatran most 
of the species that are found on the mud-flats of the Straits of Malacca with 
one or two exceptions". This implies that not all the Charadriiformes listed 
were actually recorded in Sumatra but were presumed to occur because they 
occurred on the Malayan side of the Straits. The following record confirms 
that Calidris subminuta does in fact occur in Sumatra, which lies well within 
the wintering range of the species. 

On 26 November 1975 I had excellent close views in good light of an 
individual feeding with a party of Rufous-necked Stints Calidris ruficollis in 
an area of salt pans near Banda Aceh in the extreme north of Sumatra. 
Compared with C ruficollis it appeared distinctly smaller and slimmer, much 
darker above, being brownish grey with distinct black streaks, with a more 
distinct greyish band across the upper breast, and much paler legs, greenish- 
grey in colour. Its call was a soft "churrup". 

Saxicola torquata (Contributed by D. A. Holmes) 

An immature Stonechat was seen on an exposed perch in a rice swamp by 
the Kumpeh river below Jambi town (i° 30' S) in south Sumatra on 26 
January 1976. S. t. stejnegeri is a winter visitor to west and east Malaysia in 
small numbers, and has recently proved to be a fairly common visitor to 
south Thailand (Holmes & Wells 1975). The Stonechat is an unexpected 
visitor south of the equator in this region, and an addition to the avifauna of 

The sight was distant and under difficult conditions of deep swamp, the 
same habitat as that used by wintering birds in Thailand, with no possibility 
of close approach : but the habits and stance immediately identified the bird 

91 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

as a chat. The crown was brown, the ear coverts black, with a pale buff patch 
on the side of the neck. The brown back and wings were streaked dark and 
there was a buff or whitish patch on the wing. The colour of the rump could 
not be determined, but the black tail appeared to have a narrow white tip. 
The throat was white or whitish, sharply demarcated from the breast which 
was dark buff, strongly tinged rufous on either side. This graded to brownish 
buff on the belly. A white throat and white tip to the tail are features that 
have also been noted in Malaya (Wells pers. comm.). 

Cisticola exilis (Contributed by D. A. Holmes) 

A colony of Bright-capped Cisticolas was found at Serasak, to the west of 
Jambi, in south Sumatra on 18 January 1976. The species is common in Java 
and central Thailand but was previously unknown in the lands between. 
This record, together with another from Kalimantan (see below) indicate 
that the species may now be spreading into the deforested portions of the 
equatorial zone. The habitat was lallang (Jmperata cylindricd) grassland 
bordering a swampy channel, in an area surrounded by rubber and patchy 
woodland. Subsequently the song was heard at two other localities closer to 
Jambi in lallang mixed with dryland annual crops. 

The males were in breeding plumage and in full song, which consisted of 
thin grating calls (reminiscent of some notes of Prinia flaviventris)^ which 
intermittently are uttered more quickly and terminate in a loud sharp 
"girrik". The male had the crown an unstreaked golden rufous, a strongly 
streaked mantle, buff underparts with an ill-defined rich rufous breast band, 
pale rump and buff tips to the dark tail. This combination of plumage and 
song is diagnostic for the species. 

The terrain was shared by a small number of Cisticola juncidis, which 
favoured the more swampy ground, but both species occurred together in 
song flight. 

[Since submitting this paper, Mr. Holmes has confirmed that Cisticola exilis 
is a common and widespread bird in the grass plains of Lampung province in 
South Sumatra — Ed.]. 

Prionochilus thoracicus (Contributed by D. A. Holmes) 

A male Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker was seen in dense rubber and 
secondary forest near Pinang Sore, central Tapanuli, north Sumatra (i° 3 5 ' N, 
98 50' E) on 6 July 1974. This beautiful flowerpecker was at once identified 
by the black head and neck, red crown, red breast patch surrounded by 
black, and a yellow patch on the lesser wing coverts. 

This constitutes the first confirmed record for Sumatra. There is a skin 
labelled Sumatra in the American Museum of Natural History, and pre- 
sumably on the basis of this Delacour (1947) included Sumatra in its range. 
However Chasen (1937) does not accept this record for neighbouring 
Billiton Island, and Salomonsen (i960) believed the label to be incorrect. 

Cisticola exilis (Contributed by W. G. Harvey) 

Excellent views, down to five metres, of a male Bright-capped Cisticola in 
full breeding plumage were obtained in an area of long grass on damp 
ground near the airport in Pontianak, west Kalimantan, on 25 February 1976. 
It looked bulkier than C.juncidis, with a very distinct bright orange crown, 
streaked upper parts, a plain brown rump and a uniform dark tail. The 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 92 

underparts appeared uniform yellowish buff from chin to vent. The bird was 
watched for about half a minute perched in full view. It then slipped into 
dense herbage and a few seconds later its distinctive song was heard. 

This appears to be the first record of the genus for the island of Kalimantan. 

Mirafra javanica (Contributed by W. G. Harvey) 

Smythies (1957, i960) records that the Javanese Bush Lark is resident in 
south Kalimantan in the neighbourhood of Banjarmasin. The following 
record from Pontianak in west Kalimantan (on the equator at 109 E) 
indicates a considerable extension of range. 

At least four birds were singing over the short grass areas of Pontianak 
airport on 25 February 1976. Although for obvious reasons I could not 
investigate them closely, I know the species and its song well from Java. 
The song flights were typical, an undulating flight of about 5 0-100 m, 1 5-20 m 
above the ground, on rather fluttering wings. The generally streaked brown 
plumage, rufous flight feathers and whitish outer tail feathers were seen on 
one individual. 

Lonchura punctulata (Contributed by D. A. Holmes) 

On 15 December 1974 and subsequently, parties of the Scaly-breasted 
Munia were seen in ricefields and lallang grass at the edge of the swamp at 
Tungkap, northeast of Banjarmasin in southeast Kalimantan (3 10' S, 
1 1 5 ° 05 ' E). This species is common over most of the Sunda region including 
the island of Bawean between Java and Kalimantan (Hoogerwerf 1963), but 
has apparently never been recorded previously in Kalimantan itself. 

We are grateful to D. R. Wells in Kuala Lumpur for his comments on a first draft of this 

References : 

Chasen, F. N. 1935. A Handlist of Malaysian Birds. Bull. Raffles Mus. 11. 

— 1937. The Birds of Billiton Island. Treubia 16: 205-238. 
Delacour, J. 1947. Birds of Malaysia. New York, Macmillan. 

Holmes, D. A. & Wells, D. R. 1975. Further observations on the birds of south Thailand. 

Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 26: 61-78. 
Hoogerwerf, A. 1963. A new race of the Spotted Munia, Lonchura punctulata (Linn.) Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 83: 36. 
King, B., Woodcock, M. & Dickinson, E. C. 1975. A Field Guide to the Birds of South-east 

Asia. London, Collins. 
Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 5. London, 

Witherby; Kuala Lumpur, University of Malaya Press. 
Robinson, H. C. & Kloss, C. B. 1923. A nominal list of the birds of Sumatra./. Fed. Malay 

St. Mus. 8: 319-362. 
Salomonsen, F. i960. Notes on flowerpeckers (Aves, Dicaeidae) 1. The genera Melanocharis. 

Rhamphocharis and Prionochilus. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1990: 1-28. 
Smythies, B. E. 1957. An annotated checklist of the birds of Borneo. Sarawak Mus. J. 7 : 685 . 

— i960. The Birds of Borneo. Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd. 

Address: The Old Rectory, Sudborough, Kettering, Northants, England. 

Weights of African birds 

by James R. Karr 

Received 2) March 1976 
In recent years studies of a variety of ecological and evolutionary phenomena 
have demonstrated the increased need for knowledge of weights of birds. 

93 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

Data for tropical species especially are lacking, in particular for wet forest 
species. As part of a study of the ecology of tropical forest bird communities, 
I spent nearly a year in Africa in 1971 and netted birds in forest habitats in 
four countries : 

Liberia. 7 Feb - 3 May 1 971 in three study areas within 3 km of the town of 
Grassfield (7 29' N, 8° 34' W) near Mt. Nimba at elevations near 500 m. 49 
species, 227 weights. 

Ghana. A forest converted to shrubland by the charcoal industry on the 
campus of Cape Coast University near Cape Coast, Ghana (near 5 6' N, 
i° 17' W) was surveyed in early June 1971. 33 species, 51 weights. 

Gabon. Late June and early July 1971 in forest at the Laboratoire de 
Primatologie et d'Ecologie Equatoriale (C.N.R.S.) near Makokou (near 
o° 35' N, 12 50' E). 31 species, 85 weights. 

Kenya. July 1971 in Kakamega Forest in west Kenya, on the main tract of 
an extensive study by Zimmerman (1972), centered at o° 14' N, 34 51' E. 
18 species, 73 weights. Also for several days in Nov. 1971 in the coastal belt 
of Kenya south of Malindi in the Sokoke Forest (4 42' N, 35 51' W). 9 
species, 25 weights. 

For more details of the study areas, see Karr (1976). 

Although my sample sizes are generally small (96 species, 461 weights), 
they are mainly of forest interior species for which there are few or no 
published weight data. I have tried to discern statistically significant differ- 
ences in weights for different sexes of the same species and for the same 
species from different geographic areas, using the t-test and accepting the 
0-05 level of significance. I assumed that no significant differences in variance 
existed in the data. Since my work was aimed at studying community structure 
in African forest birds, no collections were made. Determination of the sex 
of birds was dependent on differences in plumage. Nomenclature follows 
White (1965) and Hall & Moreau (1970). 

All birds were weighed in gm with Pesola spring balances; those of less 
than 25 gm live weight with a 30 gm balance, those over 25 gm with a 300 gm 
model. As pointed out by Britton (1970), many early compilations of weight 
data were derived from wide geographic areas and were collected by many 
workers using a variety of methods over several seasons. The weights in 
Table 1 have the advantage that all were obtained by one worker using the 
same techniques, and so are directly comparable with each other apart from 
the usual difficulties relating to diurnal variation. 

Acknowledgements: Grants from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the 
Smithsonian Institution provided funds for my research in Africa. The LAMCO Joint- 
Venture Mining Company at Mt. Nimba, Liberia made the facilities of the Nimba Research 
Laboratory available. Dr. Andre Brosset and his staff at Makokou, Gabon facilitated my 
studies at Makokou. Helen Lapham helped with fieldwork in Liberia and Stuart Keith and 
Alec Forbes-Watson aided me in innumerable ways in Liberia and Kenya. Drs. Douglas 
and Frances James and the staff of the Department of Zoology, University of Ghana, aided 
me in Ghana. 

References : 

Britton, P. L. 1970. Some non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 142-144, 152-154. 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An Atlas of Speciation in African Passerine Birds. British 

Museum (Natural History). 
Karr, J. R. (in press) 1976. Within-and between-habitat avian diversity in African and 

Neotropical lowland habitats. Ecol. Monogr. 46(3). 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 94 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check List of African Non-passerine Birds. Government 

Printer, Lusaka. 
Zimmerman, D. A. 1972. The avifauna of the Kakamega Forest, western Kenya, including 

a bird population study. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 149: 255-340. 

Address: Department of Ecology, Ethology and Evolution, Vivarium Building, University 
of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois 61820. U.S.A. 


Weights of African birds 

Liberia (L) = Mt. Nimba; Ghana (Gh) = Cape Coast; Gabon (Ga) = Makokou; Kenya-K 
(Kk) == Kakamega; Kenya-S (Ks) = Sokoke. After each area name the number of birds 
weighed is given in brackets, followed by the average and the standard deviation, followed 
by the range of weights in brackets. The mean of combined data is given where means 
derived for country or sex are not significantly different. Weights in gm. 

Accipiter tachiro: Liberia (2) 145-5^9-19 (139-0-152-0) 

Turtur brehmeri: Liberia (1) 115-5 

Col i us striatus: Gabon (1) 45 • 5 

Alcedo leucogaster: Liberia (5) 14 • 5 ± o • 5 6 (13- 5-14 • 8) 

Ceyx lecontei: Liberia (1) 10-5 ; Gabon (2) 9-8^0-56 (9-4, 10-2); L -f Ga (3) 10-0^0-32 

Halcyon malimbica: Liberia (1) 96 • 5 

Buccanodon duchaillui: Liberia (1) 36-5 

Pogoniulus subsulphureus: Liberia (1) 9-0 

Pogoniulus bilineatus: Kenya-S (1) 10-9 

Indicator maculatus: Liberia (1) 46-5 

Campethera nivosa: Liberia i\$) 45*5; Ghana (1) 38 • 5 ; Gabon (i<$) 34-5, (1$) 36-5 

Psalidoprogne nitens: Gabon (1)9-7 

Psalidoprocne obscura: Ghana (1) 10 -o 

Pycnonotus barbatus: Ghana (2) 35 -3 ±0-35 (35-0, 35-5); Gabon (1) 37-5; Gh + Ga (3) 

Andropadis virens: Liberia (12) 24-9^2-79 (21-5-29-5); Ghana (3) 22-5^1-00 (21-5- 

23-5); Kenya-K (3) 23-2^3-51 (i9*5- 2 3*5)- L + Gh + Kk (18) 24-2^2-77 
Andropadis curvirostris : Ghana (2) 21 -5 ±1*41 (20-5, 22-5); Kenya-K (3) 24-0^2-29 

(21-5-26-0); Gh + Kk (5) 23-0^2-23 
Andropadislatirostris:Libeti2i(2-j) 27-0^2-48 (23-5-32-0); Gabon (11) 27-6^1*82 (24-5- 

29-5); Kenya-K (22) 27-5^2-02 (25-0-30-5); L + Ga + Kk (60) 27-3^2-18 
Andropadis ma^ukuensis: Kenya-K (1) 23-0 
Chlorocicbla simplex: Ghana (1) 46-5 
Chlorocichla flaviventris : Kenya-S (1) 43-6 
Criniger barbatus: Liberia (3) 45 -2 ±0-60 (44-5-45 -7) 
Criniger chloronotus: Gabon (2) 48 • o ± 2 • 1 2 (46 • 5, 49* 5) 

Criniger caluras: Liberia (4) 37 -8 ±4 -50 (33-2-43-0); Gabon (3) 28-0^3-96 (25-0-32-5) 
Bleda syndactyla: Liberia (4) 50-5^5 * 52 (46-0-58-5); Gabon (6) 46-7^3-73 (43-5-51-5); 

Kenya-K (3) 46-8^3-78 (42-5-49-5); L + Ga + Kk (13) 47-9^4-36 
Bleda eximia: Liberia (4) 50-3±o-86 (49-5-51-5); Gabon (4) 35-7^1-25 (34*5-37-5) 
Bleda canicapil la: Liberia (2$) 50-2^2-47 (48-5, 52-0); (1$) 43-5; (3 unsexed) 42-7^6-00 

Phyllastrepbus fisheri: Kenya-K (2) 26-3^0-35 (26-0, 26 • 5 ) ; Kenya-S (8) 29 • 5 i 2 • 06 

(27-1-32-6); Kk + Ks (10) 28-9±2-26 
Phyllastrepbus icterinus: Liberia (11) 20-8^1-99 (17-5-23-0); Gabon (9) 18-4^2-20 

Phyllastrepbus baumanni: Ghana (2) 29-0^2-12 (27-5, 30-5) 
Phyllastrepbus debilis: Kenya-S (5) 1 3 • 6 ± 1 * 24 (n- 9-1 5-1) 
Nicator Moris: Liberia (1) 38-2 

Laniarius barbarus: Ghana (2) 44-8^2-47 (43-0, 46-5) 
Laniarius aethiopicus: Ghana (1) 61 • 5 

Malconotus sulphureopectus : Ghana (2) 30 • 5 ± 1 • 41 (29 -5, 31-5) 
Cercotrichas leucostictus: Liberia (1) 24-0 
Cercotrichas quadrivirgata: Kenya-S (2) 22-8^2-33 (21-1, 24-4) 
Alethe poliocephala: Liberia (8) 35 ^±2-55 (31-0-39-0); Gabon (1) 32-5; Kenya-K (7) 

28-4±i-2i (27- 5-32- 5); L + Ga(9) 35-5±6-98 
Alethe diademata: Liberia (6) 33 * 5± 1 • 78 (31*5-35-5); Gabon (3) 33 -8^0-57 (33-5-34-5); 

L + Ga (9) 33 -6± 1-44 

95 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

Stiphrornis ery thro thorax: Liberia (2$) 16-4^0-84 (15-8, iyo); 3($) 15-8^0-75 (15 -o- 

16-5); (7 unsexed) i5-8±o-87 (14-3-17-0); Gabon (2$) 17-5^1-41 (16-5, 18-5); 

(1$) 16-0; L + Ga (15) 16-1^0-97 
Cossypha cyanocompter : Kenya-K (1) 26-5 
Cossypha natalensis: Kenya- S (1) 32-1 

Sheppardia cyornithopsis: Liberia (4) 16-8^3-31 (13-8-21-5) 
Sheppardia aequitorialis: Kenya-K (4) 15-4^0-69 (14-5-16-2) 
Sheppardia gunningi: Kenya-S (1) 15-9 
Neocossyphus poensis: Liberia (4) 54 • 5 ± 4 • 74 (47 -5-58-0) 
Neocossyphus fraseri : Liberia (3) 38-6±2-5i (37-0-41-5); Gabon (1) 32-5; L -f Ga (4) 

37 -i±3-67 
Trichastoma fulvescens: Liberia (5) 23-9±i-85 (21-0-26-0); Ghana (2) 28-5^2*82 (26-5, 

30-5); Gabon (6) 24-8^2-25 (22-5-28-5); Kenya-K (1) 30-5; L + Ga (11) 24-4^ 

Trichastoma rufipennis: Liberia (1) 25-5; Kenya-K (4) 20-3^0-96 (19-5-21-3) 
Trichastoma albipectus: Kenya-K (2) 30 -8 ±2 -47 (29-0-32-5) 
Trichastoma cleaveri: Liberia (2) 27-0^1-41 (26-0, 28-0); Gabon (4) 32-2^3-12 (28-5- 

36-0); L + Ga (6) 3o-5±3-66 
Trichastoma rufescens: Liberia (2) 36- 3^2-47 (34- 5-38-0) 
Cisticola erythrops: Ghana (1) 13-7 
Prinia leucopogon: Gabon (i<^) 14-0; (1$) 10-7 
Prinia bairdi: Kenya-K (2) 1 1 • 8 i o • 6 3 (1 1 • 3, 12-2) 
Apalis flavida: Ghana (3) 9-0^1-00 (8-o, 10 -o) 
Bathmocercus cerviniventris: Kenya-K (2) 19-2^0-70 (18-7, 19-7) 
Camaroptera brevicaudata: Liberia (2) 11 • 5 ±0-49 (ii-i, n-8); Ghana (1) 11 -o; Kenya-S 

(3) 8- 9 ±o- 7 8 (8-4-9-8); L + Gh (3) 11^0-33 
Camaroptera chloronota: Liberia (13) ii-2±i-oo (9-5-12-3); Ghana (1) 12-3; Gabon (1) 

11-3; Kenya-K (2) 9-0^1-41 (8-7, 10 -o); L -+- Gh -f Ga (15) 11 '4± 0-95 
Sylvietta virens: Ghana (2) 8 • o ± o • 49 (7-6, 8-3) 
Macro sphenus concolor: Liberia (1) 13-7 
Macrosphenus kempi: Ghana (1) 14-5 
Hylia prasina: Liberia (7) n-6±i"3i ( IO '5 _I 3*5) 
Muscicapa olivascens: Liberia (2) 15 ^±0-70 (15-7, 16 -o) 
Muscicapa sethsmithi: Gabon (2) 8-4^0-63 (7-9, 8-8) 
Myioparus griseogularis: Liberia (2) n-4±°'35 (ii' 2 > IX "7) 
Melaenornis edoloides: Ghana (1) 59-5 

Platysteira cyanea: Liberia (2J) 13-9^0-56 (13-5, 14*3); (1?) 14-3; J -f ? (3) 14-0 ±0-46 
Platysteira concreta: Liberia (2$) 13-2^0-49 (12-8, 13-5); (2$) i2-8±o-oo (12-8, 12-8); 

Gabon (1) 12-0 
Platysteira blissetti: Ghana (i(£) 12-0; Kenya-K (3^) 11-4^0-36 (11-0-11-7); Gh -f Kk 

(4cJ) n-6±o-4i 
Platysteira castanea: Liberia (2^) 12- 6^0-77 (12-0-13-1); (1$) 12-3; Gabon (i(J) 13-5; 

L + Ga(3c?) i2-9±o-77 
Trochocercus nigromitratus : Liberia (2^) io-o±o-oo (io-o, io-o); (1$) io-8; (2 unsexed) 

9-i±o-28 (8-9, 9-3) 
Trochocercus cyanomelas: Kenya-S (2^) 10-4^0-28 (10-2, io-6); (1$) 9-9 
Terpsiphone rufiventer: Liberia (10) 1 5 • 1 ± 1 • 60 (1 2 • 5-1 7 • 3) 
Terpsiphone rufocinerea {bate si): Gabon (1) 16-5 
Anthreptes fraseri: Liberia (2<J) iO'7±o-9i (io-o, 11-3); Gabon (2$) 11 ^±0-77 (11-2, 

12-3); (2 unsexed) io-2±o-7o (9-7, 10-7) 
Nectarinia cuprea: Ghana (1$) 8-3 
Nectarinia chloropygia: Liberia (2$) 5-2^0-28 (5 -0-5 -4); Ghana (1$) 5-0; L + Gh (3) 

Nectarinia verticalis: Ghana (\$) 1 3 • 7 ; (1$) 13-5 
Nectarinia olivacia: Liberia (5^) 9-9^0-92 (8-5-10-8); (5$) 8-1^0-32 (7*7-8-5); (6 

unsexed) 9*4±i ' 10 (7-5-10-7); Gabon (5$) 10-5^0-36 (io-o-ii-o); (4$) 9- 2^0-51 

(8-6-9-8); Kenya-K (2<J) ii-2±o-63 (10-7, n-6); (2$) 9-8^0-49 (9-5, 10-2); L + 

Ga-f Kk (i2<?) io*4±o-78; L -f Kk (7 unsexed) 9 # 4±i -02 
Ploceus nigricollis: Ghana (3) 25-8^2-08 (23 • 5-27 • 5) 
Ploceus cucullatus: Ghana (i<j) 32-5 
Amblyspi^a albifrons: Ghana (1 .) 31-5 
Passer griseus: Ghana (2) 2 8 • o ± 2 • 1 2 ( 2 6 • 5 , 29 • 5 ) 
Parmoptila woodhousei: Liberia (4^) 10-5^0-41 (io-o-n -o); (2$) io-i±o-o7 ( IO *°» I0,1 ); 

(6 <?+*?) io- 3 ±o- 3 8 
Nigrita canirapilla: Ghana (1) 15-0 

{Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 96 

Nigrita bi color: Ghana (1) 10-5 

Spermophaga haematina: Liberia (36*) 20-4^0- 81 (19-8-21 • 3); (2$) 21 -8± 1 -90 (20-4, 23 • 2): 

Ghana(2(?) 23^1-41 (22-5, 24-5); (1$) 24-5; Gabon (i<$) 21-5; (1$) 23-5 
Spermophaga ruficapilla: Kenya-K (6) 22 • 8 ± 2 • 06 (21 • 5-25 • 5) 
Lagonosticia senegala: Ghana (1$) 9-8 
Lagonosticta rufopicta: Ghana (2) ii-i±o-49(io-8, 11-5) 
Lagonosticta rubricata: Ghana (1) 10-2 
Estrilda troglodytes: Ghana (1) 8; 5 
Estrilda atricapilla: Gabon (1) 7-8 
Oriolus brachyrhynchus: Gabon (1) 45-5 
Dicrurus ludwigii: Liberia (1) 46-0 

Occurrence of the Madagascar Squacco Heron 
Ardeola idae in Central Africa 

by A. Prigogine 

Received 2$ March 1976 

After its breeding season, from October to March, the Madagascar Squacco 
Heron Ardeola idae disappears from its breeding grounds, migrating to 
other regions of Madagascar (Milon et al. 1973) or to Zanzibar 1 and to East 
and Central Africa, especially to Rwanda and Zaire. Chapin (1932) notes 
that it is present in mainland Africa 22 May-20 Oct, including specimens 
collected in East Africa. 

Following a study of the populations of Ardeola ralloides in Central Africa 
(Prigogine in press), I had the opportunity to examine the fine series of A. 
idae preserved in the Musee royal de TAfrique Centrale, at Tervuren, and I 
found that, in reality, its status in Central Africa is not so simple as previously 

The collection at Tervuren includes 25 specimens collected in Zaire and 
in Rwanda at the following localities and dates : 

Kivu (Zaire): Butembo (1 Jan), Kamituga (3, 5 and 20 June, 15 July, 3, 
11 and 16 Sep), Lulenga (23 Nov), Lake Mokoto (30 Aug-2 specimens); 

Kasai oriental (Zaire): Kabinda (11 July), Lusambo (25 May), Merode 
(3 May, 11 Aug); 

Rwanda: Astrida (Feb, 4 May, May, June, 15 Aug, 15 and 20 Dec), 
Gisagara (Nov), Kigali (26 June), Kisenyi (no date). 

As A. idae is known from Zambia (Benson et al. 1971), it is strange that 
it has only been encountered once in Shaba (at Moba — Chapin 1932). Yet 
on 19 July 1968, a native brought to me, at Lubumbashi, two A. idae 
captured near Kasenga, where these birds were said to be very numerous at 
that time. Chapin (1956) noted this heron at Tshibati, during the dry season 
from June to August, and Curry- Lindahl (i960) observed one individual 
4-6 Feb near Astrida. 

Schouteden (1953, 1966, 1968) has recorded birds, identified without 
doubt as A. idae, from Central Africa taken during the months in which 
breeding occurs in Madagascar, but all six are in first winter plumage (see 
table). There are indeed no specimens in the typical breeding dress anywhere 
recorded and this is surely proof that there is no breeding in Central Africa. 

The following table shows the distribution by month of the specimens in 
the Tervuren collection, separately for adult birds and for young birds in 
first winter plumage : 

97 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 











; 1 



2 4 

3 1 1 


2 2 

Winter plumage 
First winter plumage 

Total 11 45153 22 

It may be concluded that some young birds remain in Central Africa and 
do not return to Madagascar in September or October. These young birds 
are easily confused in the field with the Palaearctic population of the Squacco 
Heron Ardeola ralloides ralloides which arrives in Zaire in November and 
remains in Central Africa until March. Thus it is possible that even during its 
off season A. idea may be commoner in Zaire and Rwanda than these few 
records suggest. 

It may be noted that 7 adult Tervuren specimens have a wing length of 
230-254 mm (mean 245 mm), longer than the wing length given in standard 
books (e.g. Mackworth-Praed & Grant 1970), but 17 specimens in first 
winter plumage are notably smaller, 211-244 mm (mean 227 mm). 

1 C. W. Benson (in lift.) very kindly drew my attention to an A. idae specimen from Mafia 
Island, collected 22 Feb 191 5, found quite recently in the British Museum (Meinertzhagen 
collection). It is in almost complete breeding dress except for very few winter feathers on 
the mantle. Thus it seems possible that a breeding population of A. idae exists also on 
Mafia Island. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. 

Collins, London. 
Chapin, J. P. 1932. The Birds of the Belgian Congo, part 1. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 

65: 1-756. 

— 1956. Les oiseaux et les saisons pres de Lwiro. Fol. Scient. Afr. Centr. 2(1): 3-5. 
Curry-Lindahl, K. i960. Ecological studies on mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in 

the eastern Belgian Congo. Ann. Mus. Congo Beige, 8°, Sc. zool. 87: 1-170. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1970. African Handbook of Birds, Series III, 

Vol. I. Longman, London. 
Milon, Ph., Petter, J. -J. & Randrianasolo, G. 1973. Faune de Madagascar, XXXV. Oiseaux. 

ORSTOM, Tananarive. 
Prigogine, A. in press. Les populations du Heron crabier Ardeola ralloides (Scopoli) au 

Zaire, Rwanda et Burundi. Gerfaut. 
Schouteden, H. 1953. Le Heron crabier de Madagascar (Ardeola idae) au Congo beige. 

Rev. Zool. Bot. afr. 48 : 294-296. 

— 1966. La faune ornithologique du Rwanda. Doc. ^ool. Mus. Afr. Centr. 10: 1-130. 

— 1968. La faune ornithologique du Kivu. I. Non passereaux. Doc. %pol. Mus. Afr. Centr. 
12: 1-168. 

Address: Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Rue Vautier 31, B 1040 
Bruxelles, Belgium. 

Earliest Record of the Torres Strait Pigeon 

Ducula spilorrhoa from Lord Howe Island, 

with comments on the subspecies melvillensis 

by Murray D. Bruce 

Received 14 April 1976 

Roy Bell collected on Lord Howe Island for two years on behalf of G. M. 
Mathews and at The Pines on 14 October 191 3 took a * White Pigeon* 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 98 

which he had been after for some time and which was supposed to have been 
present for some four years {per J. L. McKean). The specimen (No. 61 1383) 
is an adult male Torres Strait Pigeon Ducula spilorrboa in the collections of 
the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Rand (1941) briefly 
mentions the record in his revision of the species, but otherwise the record 
has been overlooked (e.g. by Fullager et. al. 1974). The record is the southern- 
most not only for the species but for the genus, the normal range extending 
only to eastern Queensland (Crome 1975), and this occurrence on Lord Howe 
Island must be regarded as accidental, though one might not have expected 
a vagrant to remain for four years. This pigeon has decreased greatly in 
numbers in the last 5 o years and the likelihood of such vagrancy recurring 
is remote. Large flocks may still congregate in southern New Guinea {cf. 
Bell 1967: 70) and a ringing recovery 850 km from the original site was 
reported by Purchase (1975). 

Rand & Gilliard (1968: 170) questioned whether D. s. melvillensis was 
distinguishable from nominate spilorrboa. Storr (1973 : 48) placed Queensland 
birds under spilorrboa, thus following Peters (1937: 50). Condon (1975 : 163), 
on the other hand, recognised melvillensis, as had Mayr (1941 : 43), following 
Rand (1941: 4). Rand's differentiation of the subspecies (which differ on 
average only slightly in size) was primarily based on the degree of white or 
pale yellowish {spilorrboa) and yellowish {subflavescens) to greyish {tarara) 
shading in the plumage. Melvillensis differs from spilorrboa "in having the 
head distinctly gray-tinged" (Rand 1941 : 5), a feature that is even more 
distinct in tarara. This grey tinge of the head is quite distinct in fresh skins 
(McKean in lilt.), and is well marked in the AMNH material examined, 
although the grey in the plumage of some specimens appears attributable to 
dirt, stains and possible foxing. On this basis the subspecies melvillensis may 
be recognised; although it represents an intermediate stage in plumage 
characters, it is in fact the slightly smaller of the four subspecies : — 
subflavescens (Bismarck Archipelago; Admiralty Islands); 
nominate spilorrboa (islands around New Guinea and parts of the New 
Guinea mainland) ; 

melvillensis (S.E. New Guinea — Hall Sound region; northern Australia, 
with regular migratory movements between New Guinea and Queens- 
land; Lord Howe Island); 
tarara (south New Guinea — Merauke to Fly River). 

I am grateful to J. L. McKean of the C.S.I. R.O., Australia, for assistance with information 
on Lord Howe Island records and material available to him in Canberra; Mrs. M. K. LeCroy 
of the A.M.N. H., New York, for assistance during my visit there; also J. F. Monk for 
helpful comments on the manuscript. 

References : 

Bell, H. L. 1967. Bird life of the Balimo Sub-district, Papua. Emu 67: 57-79. 

Condon, H. T. 1975. Checklist of the Birds of Australia, Part 1. Non-Passerines. Melbourne: 

Crome, F. H. J. 1975. Breeding, feeding and status of the Torres Strait Pigeon at Low Isles, 

north-eastern Queensland. Emu 75: 189-198. 
Fullager, P. J., McKean, J. L., & van Tets, G. F. 1974. Report on the birds. Appendix F, 

pp. 55-72. /«, H. F. Recher & S. S. Clark (eds.), Environmental survey of Lord Howe 

Island. Sydney: Aust. Mus. 86pp. 
Mayr, E. 1941. List of New Guinea Birds. New York: AMNH. 

Peters, J. L. 1937. Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press. 
Purchase, D. 1975. Letter to the editor. New Guinea Bird Soc. Newsletter 105 : 4. 
Rand, A. L. 1941. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 32. New and interesting birds 

from Nttw Guinea. Amer. Mus. Novit. 11 02: 1-15. 

99 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

Rand, A. L. & Gilliard, E. T. 1968. Handbook of New Guinea Birds. New York: Nat. Hist. 

Storr, G. M. 1973. List of Queensland Birds. Spec. Publ. W. Aust. Mus. 5: 1-177. 

Address: c/o Dept. of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park 
West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, U.S.A. 

The vocalizations of the 
Green Longtail Urolais epichlora 

by L. G. Grimes 

Received 6 May 1976 

The Green Longtail Urolais epichlora is endemic to most montane forest areas 
of Cameroun, Eastern Nigeria and the island of Fernando Po. During an 
eight day stay on Mount Cameroun, beginning 30 December 1974, 1 recorded 
its song, contact note and some alarm notes, using a Phillips cassette tape- 
recorder (Model 2205) with a microphone (Phillips EL 1980/03) placed at 
the focus of a parabola (o • 6 m in diameter). Sonograms of sections of these 
recordings were made using a Kaye Sonograph (Model 66IA) operating in 
the wide band mode. 


I i 

I 4 


>\\\\\\<\ 1 

8 JANUARY 1975. 1860 1 

• 4 


28 DECEMBER 1975 

U Ah a 

t 4-1 


28DECEMBER 1975 

1 I 

25 5 SEC 

Figure i . Diagrammatic sound spectograms of the contact note (a) and alarm calls (b & c) 
used by Urolais epichlora. Cameroun, Dec. 1974-Jan. 1975. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 100 

8- (a) 

Jl "!\ '■* H 

6 - 






8 («) 

— I 1 

025 5 SEC 

> > > > 

/in /* /* /l 

^ ^ ^ £ 

^Wd ^* ^h* jH» 

Figure 2. Diagrammatic sound spectrograms of the territorial song of Urolais epichlora. 
Those illustrated in (a) and (b) were obtained from the recordings of Chappuis (1974); 
those in (c), (d) and (e) from recordings made on 8 January 1975, probably of the 
same male, at i860 m on Mount Cameroun. 

The Longtail was common at all elevations in the montane forest, and also 
occurred as low as 1 200 m in grassy thickets within the eucalyptus plantation 
near Buea. Adults with dependent young (small replicas of the adults) were 
located in the plantation and within the forest belt below 1830 m. Family 
parties located higher on the mountain contained birds with short tails, 
which may have been immatures or else adults in tail moult. Unfortunately 
I failed to find any nests. 

During the first few days on the mountain I kept on hearing an unfamiliar 
shrill call (Fig. ia) from birds hidden within the canopy. These were even- 
tually identified as Longtails and as far as I could judge they used the call to 
maintain contacts with a foraging party. Sonograms of a number of separate 

ioi [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

recordings of this call showed that there was little variation in the frequency/ 
time profile of the notes, and playback of the call produced no visible 
response in foraging Longtails. I also recorded in the eucalyptus plantation 
alarm calls (Fig. ib, c) of adults when with dependent young: they contained 
a second harmonic not shown in the figure. Neither of these contact or 
alarm calls are on the disc produced by Chappuis (1974) nor appear to be 
mentioned in the literature. 

The (assumed) male adult Longtail has a distinctive "chipping" song 
which consists of the repetition of the same note (Fig. 2) and appears to be 
mainly territorial in function. The frequency/time profile of the note is 
complex and differs between males and probably varies in a given male (Fig. 
2c, d, e) : but no birds were ringed for identification. The song is not of great 
intensity but once learnt could be picked up at distances of 60 m or more. At 
dawn and dusk on each day of my stay three males sang from separate 
canopies near my camp at Hut 1 (1830 m). Singing, however, also occurred 
during the day, either from a song perch within the canopy or as the male 
moved slowly through it. The response of the male to playback of its song 
or that of another male was most marked. Without fail it was possible to 
bring an unseen singing male from the canopy to ground cover where it 
would continue to sing in response, flicking its wings audibly often with its 
tail cocked over its back. Wing flicking and tail cocking were never noted 
when males were singing in the canopy and these are presumably intense 
forms of territorial display. Other Longtails foraging in the canopy would 
not respond to the playback and remained in the canopy. There was no 
suggestion, either from the tape recordings and sonograms or from field 
observations, that duetting is a part of the vocal repertoire. 

White (1962) placed the Green Longtail in the genus Prinia and more 
recently Chappuis (1974) has suggested that vocally it has affinities with the 
genus Apalis, although no details of his reasoning are given. Until its nest 
is described it is probably best to leave it in the monotypic genus Urolais. It 
is hoped, however, that the vocalization data in this paper will be made use of 
as additional information in any future comparative study of its taxonomic 

Acknowledgements : I am grateful to the Frank M. Chapman Fund for financing my visit 
to Cameroun and to the Revs. L. Martin and L. Scheffle for help during my stay at Buea. I 
thank Mr. F. Walsh for commenting on the original script. 

References : 

Chappuis, C. 1974. Illustration sonore de problemes bioacoustiques poses par les oiseaux de 
la zone Ethiopienne. Alauda 42(4) : 467-500. 

Smith, W. J. 1970. The acquisition and functions of vocal behaviour. Science 167: 39-41. 

White, C. M. N. 1962. A check list of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae), Parts 2, 3 
Occ. Pap. Natn. Mus. S. Rhod. 26B: 653-694, 695-738. 

Address: Rossall School, Fleetwood, Lanes. FY7 8JW. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 102 

Further on subspeciation in the Red-billed Oxpecker 

Buphagus erythrorhynchus 

by P. A. Clancey 

Received 28 June 1976 
The subspecific variation of the Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus 
(Stanley) of eastern and southern Africa from the Sudan, Ethiopia and 
Somalia, south to southeastern Angola and Natal and Zululand was last 
considered by Clancey & Lawson (1961) and Clancey (1962). The species 
was originally shown to exhibit subspecifically significant variation by Grote 
(1927), whose findings were adopted by Sclater (1930), but not by some 
later workers. Since 1962 two additional subspecies of this oxpecker have 
been proposed from southern Africa: B. e. angolensis Pinto, 1968, from 
Cuando-Cubango in southeastern Angola (Pinto 1968), and B. e. bestiarum 
Brooke, 1970, from southeastern Rhodesia (Brooke 1970). Brooke, in 
Benson et al. (1970), acknowledged the discreteness of angolensis, but the 
more recently proposed bestiarum has not yet been commented on. This last 
taxon was proposed on the basis of a relatively short series, mainly from 
Chipisi, c. 96 • 5 km east of Beit Bridge, near the confluence of the Bubye and 
Limpopo R., on the border between Rhodesia and the northern Transvaal. 
Chipisi, which is the type locality of the taxon, lies relatively close to those of 
B. e. caffer Grote, 1927: Palala R., northern Transvaal, a south bank affluent 
of the Limpopo R., which it joins at 23 05' S., 27 53' E., and B. e. scotinus 
Clancey & Lawson, 1961 : Panda, Inhambane district, Mozambique, at 
24 02' S., 34 45' E., just north of the lower Limpopo flood plain. From 
this it will be appreciated that the three names applicable to eastern southern 
African populations, namely, caffer, bestiarum and scotinus, are all loosely 
associated with the middle and lower reaches of a single river, the Limpopo. 

Subspecifically significant variation in B. erythrorynchus is relatively slight, 
affecting general size, the colouration of the face, chin and upper fore-throat, 
levels of saturation over the upper- and under-parts, and the colour of the 
tail. Despite what has been stated at various times, individual variation in 
single populations is highly conservative, but elucidation of both this and 
geographically correlated variation is rendered difficult for the following 
reasons: (a) series from single localities are both rarely long enough and 
comprised in the main of adult birds, (b) the taxonomically significant 
variation is only partially shown by juvenile and immature birds, (c) the 
species is subject to much carbon and soil discolouration through contact 
with soiled pelage of its mammalian hosts, and (d) being exposed to the 
strong African sun most of the day, birds fade and wear rapidly. Foxing in 
museum skins is a slow process and not a major problem in the present 

Variation in the Red-billed Oxpecker in southern and central Africa 
corresponds well to that exhibited by a whole range of similarly distributed 
polytypic passerines and small non-passerines : populations of dark and some- 
what small-sized birds in the humid eastern lowlands and parts of the im- 
mediate interior, with paler, less saturated, elements replacing them in the 
drier (xeric) interior, while, in turn, size increases markedly in southern 
Angola, southwestern Zambia, northeastern South West Africa, Caprivi 
and northern Botswana. A re-examination of my (1962) arrangement of the 
populations into races in the light of the description of B. e. angolensis in 1968 

103 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

and B. e. bestiarum in 1970, using now a series of just under 100 specimens, 
indicates the necessity of recasting the ranges of B. e. caffer and B. e. scotinus, 
with only three subspecies being admitted south of the ranges of the northern 
B. e. erythrorhynchus and B. e. invictus, making five subspecies in all for the 
species concerned. 

B. e. bestiarum was described as differing from caffer in being generally 
paler, colder and duller, with the throat pale pinkish grey, the breast dull 
brown without the olive (wash) of caffer, and above grey-brown, without an 
olive wash. The pale pinkish grey throat was said to serve to distinguish 
B. e. bestiarum from all other races of the species. The Type of this taxon has 
not been available to me, but three paratopotypes from Chipisi taken at the 
same time cannot be distinguished from a series in comparable dress of B. e. 
scotinus from the lowlands of Mozambique taken in i960, 1966 and 1971. 
Taken as a unit, all reasonably fresh adult bestiarum are as dark and suffused 
with olive over the upper-parts, dark over the face, chin and upper fore- 
throat, and deeply coloured below as a series of scotinus in the Durban 
Museum from Panda, Massinga and Rumbacaca, localities in Sul do Save, 
Mozambique, and are taxonomically indistinguishable from this sub- 
species. In so far as the Chipisi specimens are concerned, I cannot discern the 
pale pinkish colour attributed to them in the original diagnosis, and actually 
find such specimens darker throated and breasted than fresh B. e. caffer from 
the western Transvaal (Northam) and a range of localities in eastern Bots- 
wana. From these findings I conclude that B. e. bestiarum will require to be 
merged with the earlier B. e. scotinus, the range of which will need to be 
adjusted from that laid down in 1962, namely, the humid coastlands of eastern 
Africa from Mozambique, north to Kenya, to read as follows : Mozambique, 
(? and northeastern Zululand), Rhodesia east of caffer, Zambia east of 
angolensis, Malawi, southeastern Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Uganda 
and Kenya south of B. e. erythrorhynchus and B. e. invictus. 

B. e. scotinus differs from both B. e. erythrorhynchus (Stanley), 1 8 14 : northern 
Ethiopia, and B. e. invictus Clancey, 1962 : Garissa, Tana R., Kenya, in being 
much darker over the face, chin and upper fore-throat, and more saturated 
throughout. In size it is similar to the nominate subspecies, but is much 
larger than the small-sized, pallid invictus. 

B. e. caffer was erected largely on the basis of a size difference in comparison 
with the nominate race, the Type being from Palala R., in the western Trans- 
vaal. In my 1962 summary of the races I used this name for the interior 
populations ranging from the southern aspects of the Kenyan highlands 
south to the Transvaal and Natal. The present assessment of the variation 
now shows that caffer has a much more restricted distribution, and that many 
populations of scotinus were incorrectly assigned to it. Topotypical examples 
of caffer differ from the contiguous race, scotinus, in being colder and greyer 
dorsally, with the face, chin and upper fore-throat lighter and greyer (about 
the Light Drab of Ridgway (19 12), pi. xlvi, versus greyish Buffy Brown (pi. 
xl) in scotinus), and the rest of the venter less saturated. With the elimination 
of the species from large areas of southeastern Africa through cattle-dipping, 
the use of insecticidal sprays and game eradication it is not easy to assess the 
former extent of the range of caffer, but nowadays it extends from the eastern 
aspects of the Kalahari, in Botswana, east to the northwestern Orange Free 
State, the Transvaal, and the low rainfall areas of northwestern Rhodesia 
(Wankie, Matetsi). In former times it extended well south of this over the 
Orange Free State and Natal, but has now all but disappeared from these 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 104 

provinces, though still present in some numbers in game reserves in northern 
Zululand, where, however, the birds appear to be nearer scotinus than coffer, 
but apparently showing characters of their own (darker fore-throat and 
breast, more ochraceous-buff belly, and with cinnamon wedging to the 
second and third outer rectrices), if the aged material available can be relied 

When Pinto named B. e. angolensis he compared his Okavango R., Angola, 
material with ten skins from Sul do Save, which he considered to represent 
coffer, but which were in fact scotinus, which latter taxon was not mentioned. 
B. e. angolensis was described as resembling "coffer" — scotinus in colour, 
differing in its greater size, even though the figures given in the original 
description: 1 21-136, versus 1 19-124 mm, show a considerable measure of 
overlap. However, as will be appreciated from the mensural data (Table I), 


The wing-length (mm) variable in B. erythrorhynchus populations occurring to the south of 
the ranges of nominate B. erythrorhynchus and B. e. invictus. 

Population N Range Mean SD SB 

B. e. ? subsp. 



114, 116-5 

W. Transvaal, Botswana 
and N.W. Rhodesia 


B. e. caffer 
116-5-123 "5 





e. caffer ^ B. e. scotinus 

E. Transvaal 


1 1 9-1 24 
B. e. scotinus 

121 -2 


o- 50 

S. Mozambique 


Zambia and Tanzania 












N.W. Botswana, Caprivi 
and S.W. Zambia 


B. e. angolensis 




the wing-length spectrum in adults of the present oxpecker lies between 5 
and 8 • 5 mm, which indicates that Pinto's paratypical series of angolensis 
comprised several immature birds. My measurements of adults from the 
range of angolensis suggest that the size distinction separating angolensis and 
scotinus is in all probability more sharply defined than suspected by the original 
author, angolensis having wings 125-132, versus 116-5-125 in scotinus and 
116-5-123*5 mm in caffer. 

Compared with true B. e. caffer from the western Transvaal and eastern 
Botswana, angolensis differs in being more olive tinged above, less grey, 
darker and browner over the face, chin and upper fore-throat, slightly more 
saturated ventrally, and in having the wing-length in adult birds much 
greater. The range of B. e. angolensis is from Cuando-Cubango, Angola, 
and northeastern South West Africa, east to Caprivi, the Okavango Swamp 
region of northwestern Botswana, and Barotseland and the western part of 

loj [Dull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

the Southern Province of Zambia. Its influence can also be detected in the 
northwestern Rhodesian sample. 

In the above discussion I have not taken into consideration the contentious 
name Bupbaga Africanoides A. Smith, 1831 : Natal, the availability of which 
was discussed by Clancey (1968, 1969) and Benson & Hall (1969). As stated 
in a footnote to Bull. B.O.C. , 89 (2) (1969): 38, this matter was duly sub- 
mitted to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature at a 
time when the terms of Article 23 (b) of the Code were under critical review 
and immediately prior to the publication of Declaration 43, in which Article 
23 (b) was repeated. In a letter dated 14 June 1971, the Secretary of the 
Commission, Mr. R. V. Melville, informed me that Smith's africanoides is a 
nomen oblitum in terms of the said Article, and that as its existence was 
made known prior to the adoption of Declaration 43 in December 1970 
(I. C.Z.N. 1970), it can only be re-established as a valid name by the Com- 
mission exercising its plenary powers. In the light of Mr. Melville's other 
comments, and on account of the fact that a Natal population of this 
oxpecker now hardly exists, I have not felt it necessary to take the requisite 
steps to have Smith's long over-looked name validated. 

To summarize: my 1962 revision of the species is adjusted in the light of 
the description of two additional subspecific taxa: B. e. angolensis (1968) and 
B. e. bestiarum (1970). B. e. angolensis is recognised, while B. e. bestiarum is 
merged with B. e. scotinus y the range of which is enlarged to cover the 
populations ranging from the southern aspects of the Kenya highlands, 
south to southern Mozambique. B. e. caffer is now interpreted as a dry 
country race, extending from the eastern Kalahari, east to western Rhodesia 
and the Transvaal, and with a former more extensive range to the southward. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Hall, B. P. 1969 Bupbaga Africanoides A. Smith, 1831 a nomen oblitum? 
Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 89 (2): 38. 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Stuart Irwin, M. P. 1970. Notes on the 
Birds of Zambia: Part V. Arnoldia Rbod. 4 (40) : 40-42. 

Brooke, R. K. 1970. In Benson, Brooke, Dowsett & Irwin, Notes on the Birds of Zambia: 
Part V. Arnoldia Rbod., 4 (40): 41. 

Clancey, P. A. 1962. An additional race of Buphagus erythrorbynchus (Stanley) from the 
Somali Arid District. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 81 (1): 19, 20. 

— 1968. On the name of a race of Buphagus erythrorbynchus (Stanley). Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 
88(8): 135, 172. 

— 1969. Bupbaga Africanoides A. Smith, 1831 a nomen oblitum? Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 89 (2): 38. 

Clancey, P. A. & Lawson, W. J. 1961. On the polytypic variation of the Red-billed Ox- 
pecker Buphagus erythrorbynchus (Stanley), with the characters of a new subspecies. 
Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 81 (7): 1 28-131. 

Grote, H. 1927. Buphagus caffer erythrorbynchus, subsp. nop. Ornith. Monatsber. 35 : 13. 

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. 1970. Declaration 43, Repeal of 
Article 23 (b). Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 27: 135-163. 

Pinto, A. A. da Rosa. 1968. Algumas formas novas para Angola e outras para a Ciencia 
descobertas no distrito Cuando-Cubango (Angola). Bonner Zool. Beitr. 19: 280-288. 

Ridgway, R. 19 12. Color Standards and Color Nomenclature. Washington. 

Sclater, W. L. 1930. Systema Avium Aethiopicarum, part 2: 671. London. 

Address: Durban Museum, Smith St., Durban, 4001, S. Africa. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 106 

Agapornis swinderniana in Ghana 
by D. W. Snow 

Received 28 June 1976 

The Black-collared Lovebird Agapornis swinderniana, the only member of its 
genus confined to humid evergreen forest, is widely distributed in the 
Cameroun and Congo forest region and known from a few localities in 
Liberia about 2000 km to the west. The Liberian population, nominate 
swinderniana, differs in colour from the Cameroun race, %enkeri, having a 
much less bright and less extensive suffusion of red or orange below the 
black of the collar. 

While examining specimens of Agapornis in the British Museum (Natural 
History) I found a specimen of A. swinderniana collected by Boyd Alexander, 
labelled "Sheramassi, Gold Coast Colony" and datedj io^February 1902. In 
colour it resembles specimens from Liberia, about 900 km to the west, 
except that the orange suffusion on the hind neck and breast is a good deal 
stronger and more extensive. In this it tends towards %enkeri. The ends of the 
flight-feathers have been cut cleanly off, as though with scissors, suggesting 
that the bird may have been in captivity. Boyd Alexander collected in the 
Gold Coast (Ghana) between September 1901 and May 1902, but not very 
extensively as he was engaged in military operations. He had earlier made a 
very thorough collection in the country. Details of his itinerary appear not 
to be known, but he was apparently moving slowly northwards between 
February and April. There is a specimen from "Gugu" collected on 6 Febru- 
ary, then the "Sheramassi" specimen, and then none until 4 - 11 March, 
when specimens were collected at Kintampo (8° 06' N, i° 40' W). On 18 
April specimens were collected at Gambaga (io° 31' N, o° 22' W). Boyd 
Alexander labelled these two latter localities "Gold Coast hinterland", 
whereas Sheramassi and Gugu were labelled "Gold Coast Colony". 

For locating for me the probable position of Sheramassi I am indebted to 
Dr. Llewellyn Grimes, recently of the University of Ghana, who points out 
{in lift.) that Boyd Alexander was clearly using a phonetic spelling. There is 
no "sh" spelling in Ghana, but the sh sound is written "hy" or possible "hw". 
There is in fact a place called "Hweremasi" at 6° 46' N, i° 24' W, between 
Kumasi and Mampong, in what would have been good forest in 1902. It 
seems very likely that this is where Boyd Alexander obtained his specimen, a 
deduction supported by the fact that there is a place called Agogo about 30 
km to the east of Hweremasi, which may well be the "Gugu" where he 
collected a specimen four days earlier. Accordingly it is intended to show 
Hweremasi as a locality for Agapornis swinderniana in the Atlas of speciation 
in African non-passerine birds, now in preparation. 

There is no obvious reason why A. swinderniana should be confined to a 
small area of forest in Liberia, since the Upper Guinea forest once extended 
continuously from Sierra Leone and Liberia east to eastern Ghana; but it is 
curious that it is apparently so rare or else very patchly distributed. It is also 
surprising that Boyd Alexander's specimen should have been overlooked 
for so long, since it was registered with the rest of his Ghana collections in 

Address: British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Hertfordshire, England. 

107 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

Comments on the races of Lybius melanocephalus 
(Cretzschmar) in Ethiopia 

by C. Erard 

Received } June 1976 

Urban & Brown (1971), relying on White (1965), give only two races of 
Lybius melanocephalus for Ethiopia: the nominate in the northeast, in the 
north of the Rift Valley, and in the southeast; and L. m. stigmatothorax 
(Cabanis) in the west and south, including the south of the Rift. In the 
material collected during various expeditions from the Laboratoire de 
Zoologie (Mammiferes et Oiseaux) du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 
Paris, there are specimens of L. m. blandi (Phillips), which White (1965 : 259) 
confines to "Northern Somalia". In fact blandi has been collected not only in 
the north at Run, 60 km northeast of Garoe (8° 48' N, 48 52' E), but also 
by Roche in central and southern ex-Italian Somalia, near to Bugda Acable 
(4 03' N, 45 10' E) and Afmadu (o° 27' N, 42 05' E) (Berlioz & Roche 
1963, Roche 1975 : 121). 

In Ethiopia proper, Erlanger (1905: 491-492) collected 11 specimens 
which he assigned to blandi, in Arussi, Ennia-Gallaland, Gurra and Garre- 
Liwin. Further south he recorded stigmatothorax: $, Malka-Ree, Dawa River; 
$, Sidimun, near Bardera; 30*6** ?» Kismayu. In fact, due to a lack of com- 
parative material, the differences between the two forms were not well 
presented by Erlanger; he regarded them as conspecific, but nevertheless, in 
accord with the practice of many systematists of that time, as specifically 
distinct from melanocephalus. Thus he attached undue importance to the 
relative size of the beak and the presence or absence of a small patch of 
red on the centre of the chest. He also thought that speckling on the crown, 
chin and throat was connected with age, although he should have been 
aware from his considerable series of specimens that this was not so. 

Reviewing Erlanger's material, Zedlitz (191 5: 14-15) made the same 
mistake in attributing subspecific significance to characters which reflected 
merely individual variation. Neither he nor Erlanger appreciated that they 
were dealing with one race, namely blandi. If Zedlitz had been aware of the 
true characters of stigmatothorax \ he would not have written: — "Wenn die 
Form blandi nicht schon bestande und von vielen namhaften Forschern 
anerkannt worden ware, wiirde ich meinerseits keine Teilung befiirworten", 
in assigning all Erlanger's specimens to that form. Thus this material 
remained improperly determined, with blandi believed to be restricted to 
that part of Somalia whence it had been described originally. 

Fortunately Erlanger's specimens still exist in the Natur-Museum und 
Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt-am-Main, and thanks to the 
kindness of Dr. J. Steinbacher we have been able to examine them. The black 
of the plumage of nominate melanocephalus is replaced by brown, and there is 
cream or pale yellow speckling (the latter colour in fresh plumage) on the 
crown, chin and throat, of the following which belong without doubt to 
blandi:— $, Ali Dera {c 8° 45' N, 42 E); ?, Harro Ruffa (9 24' N, 41 44' E); 
$, Haroroba (8° 1 1' N, 40 32' E); 6\ Huluko (6° 59' N, 40 44' E); 6\ Kata, 
Mane (6° 32' N, 40 41' E); <}, Burka (6° 13' N, 40 54' E); $, Harra-Ali 
(6° 08' N, 41 01' E); 26*0*, Darassum (5 52' N, 41 08' E); ?, Malka-Ree, 
Dawa River (3 59' N, 41 54' E); & ?, Djeroko (3 27' N, 41° 15' E); $, 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 108 

Sidimun (2 25' N, 42 05' E); 3^, % Kismayu (o° 25' N, 42 31' E). The 
first eight localities are in Ethiopia (provinces of Harrar and Bale), the others 
in the south of ex-Italian Somalia. 

To the material collected by Erlanger can be added that obtained by J. 
Prevost, G. Jarry and the author in 1 971, as follows : — 3<JcJ, 15-19 February, 
between 30 km west and 50 km southeast of Ghinir (7 06' N, 40 40' E), 
province of Arussi; <J, 26 November, 45 km northwest of Bogol-Mayo 
(4 34' N, 41 ° 29' E); $, 27 November, 36 km west-northwest of Filtu 
(V 08' N, 40 35' E); $, 1 December, near Debuluk (4 15' N, 3 8° 10' E), 
75 km south of Yavello. The last three localities are in the province of 
Sidamo. The final specimen is of interest in that it is intermediate between 
blandi and stigmatothorax. L. m. stigmatothorax is characterised by dark sooty 
brown on the head, back, chin and throat, instead of pale brown tinged 
chocolate as in blandi, and by an absence of speckling on the crown, chin and 
throat. The Debuluk specimen is close to stigmatothorax in colour, although 
the brown is slightly paler, and has yellowish white speckling on the anterior 
half of the crown and on the chin. It was adult, and the presence of speckling 
is not related to age. Furthermore, speckling in juveniles of blandi is more 
whitish, "cotton-like", as far as can be judged from a specimen collected by 
Erlanger at Ali-Dera. 

Commenting on the specimen from Afmadu, Berlioz & Roche (1963) 
considered that, in view of the small red pectoral spot, it was intermediate 
between stigmatothorax and blandi. Such a spot is not peculiar to stigmatothorax 
since it is apparent in five out of 1 5 nominate melanocephalus and eight out of 
25 blandi examined, exclusive of individuals showing a trace of orange- 

Erlanger (1905 : 492) attributed specimens from Malka-Ree, Sidimun and 
Kismayu to stigmatothorax on account of the red pectoral spot and especially 
the heavier bill. It is true that those from Kismayu are relatively large-billed, 
but this does not apply to the others. Robustness of bill is variable in speci- 
mens of all three forms examined. 

The only specimen examined which is definitely intermediate between 
stigmatothorax and blandi is the one from Debuluk. Benson (1946: 28) 
emphasised that two males obtained at Yavello (4 57' N, 3 8° 08' E) were 
blackish rather than brownish on the lower throat and down the centre of 
the chest, with the crown more blue-black, less brown-black, than in stigma- 
tothorax. He assigned them to nominate melanocephalus ; but only had material 
from Kenya for comparison. We collected ztfg and 1$ on 2 December 1971, 
5 2 km west of Yavello. These are clearly stigmatothorax, although in the males 
the hind part of the crown and the upper mantle are more blackish than 
(Paris) specimens from Kenya. They are quite different from true melano- 
cephalus, which has the crown, the cheeks and the upper mantle a dark black 
with blue reflections and the chin and throat dull black. 

To conclude, Lybius melanocephalus blandi (Phillips) must be regarded as 
occurring in Ethiopia. Its distribution includes eastern ex-British Somaliland 
(cf Archer & Godman 1961), the southeast of Ethiopia (provinces of Harrar, 
Bale, Arussi and the southeast of Sidamo), and ex-Italian Somaliland as a 
whole. In northwestern Somalia and the northeast of the province of Harrar 
into the north of the Rift Valley in Ethiopia it is replaced by nominate 
melanocephalus, and in southern Ethiopia west of Yavello by stigmatothorax. 

lop [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

Acknowledgements: We express our thanks to Dr. J. Steinbacher, who kindly lent us the 
specimens collected by C. F. von Erlanger; and to our friend C. W. Benson, who has 
commented on and translated the text of this paper. 

References : 

Archer, G. F. & Godman, E. M. 1961. The birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden 3. 
Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 

Benson, C. W. 1946. Notes on the birds of southern Abyssinia. Ibis 88: 25-48. 

Berlioz, J. & Roche, J. 1963. Etude d'une collection d'oiseaux de la Somalie. Bull. Mus. 
nat. Hist. Nat., Paris 2(35): 580-592. 

Erlanger, C. F. von. 1905. Bcitrage zur vogelfauna nordostafrikas. Journ. Ornith. 53: 432- 

Roche, J. 1975. Recherches ornithologiques en Republique de Somalie. Monitor e Zool. Ital. 
(n.s.) Suppl. 6: 103-140. 

Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A Check-list of the Birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 
Haile Sellasie I University Press. 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check-list of African non-Passerine Birds. Lusaka: Govern- 
ment Printer. 

Zedlitz, O. G. 191 5. Das siid-Somaliland als zoogeographisches gebiet. four n. Ornith. 63: 

Address: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 5 5 Rue de BufTon, 7 5 -Paris (V e ). 

Chaplin's Barbet Lybius chaplini: first description 
of eggs, a new host record for the Lesser Honeyguide 

Indicator minor 

by J. F. R. Colebrook-Robjent & R. Stjernstedt 

Received i) April 1976 

Chaplin's Barbet Lybius chaplini is to be treated as a full species (P. A. Clancey 
in litt.) in the forthcoming Atlas of African Non-Passerines to be published 
by the British Museum (Natural History). It is a relict species confined to the 
Southern and Central Provinces of Zambia. It is known to nest in holes in 
dead branches, but the eggs have never been described. Benson et al. (1971) 
give four breeding records, based on evidence other than eggs, one each for 
the months of August, September, October and February. 

On 14 October 1975 J.C-R. and J. C. Sweetman investigated a nest hole of 
Chaplin's Barbet at Ringwood, 22 km southwest of Choma. The nest was 
8 m up in the dead main trunk of an otherwise still living Sand Apple 
Parinari mobola, in a vlei with scattered trees, including figs. One of the pair 
left the nest tree before we reached it, but the incubating bird remained in the 
hole until it was cut open. Fig. 1 (drawn to scale) shows the long nest tunnel. 
The diameter of the entrance hole was 36 mm high and 40 mm wide. The back 
wall was approximately 20 mm thick at the narrowest point. The inside 
diameter of the nest chamber varied between 54 mm and 75 mm. The nest 
contained 3 eggs lying on fine wood dust, two of the barbet's and one of a 
honeyguide. The barbet's eggs are smooth-shelled long ovals with fine 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] no 

longitudinal ridges, measuring 24-8 x 17*8 (3-7 g) and 24-6 x 18 -o mm 
(3 ' 9 §)• They contained large embryos, but with sufficient yolk to see that it 
was of a deep orange-yellow characteristic of eggs of this family. The 
honeyguide's egg is glossy and rounded at both ends and measures 22*2 x 
16 -6 mm (2*9 g). It contained a very large embryo which would have 
hatched within 36 hours, showing the vicious bill hooks as illustrated on 
Plate 5 in Friedmann (1955). This egg is too small to be that of a Greater 
Honeyguide Indicator indicator. It cannot be the egg of a Scaly-throated 
Honeyguide /. variegatus as this habitat is quite unsuited to it and according 
to Benson et al. it is entirely absent from the Southern Province plateau. 
The egg size and barbet host indicates that it is referable to the Lesser 
Honeyguide /. minor, a species of frequent occurence in the Choma area. 

Benson et al. give only one breeding record (September) for the Lesser 
Honeyguide, evidently referring to an unaccompanied juvenile as no host 
species is given. 

Figure 1 : Cross section of Chaplin's Barbet Lybius chaplini nest hole (to scale). 

Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1962) state that the call is unrecorded, 
although Winterbottom (1932) had described it as "a loud, cackling sound, 
suggestive of demoniacal laughter, and quite unmistakable". On 29 April 
1974 R. S. recorded on tape the call of this species at Muckleneuk, near 
Choma. Certainly it is unmistakable, and may be described as a loud, strident, 

1 1 1 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 

ratchet-like noise, harsh and high-pitched. There was a party of four indi- 
viduals in a fig tree, probably only two of them contributing vocally and 
simultaneously each at a slightly different speed and pitch, e.g. bird "A" at 
c. 10 beats per second, bird "B" at c. 16 beats per second (and higher pitched). 
Sometimes one or the other gave its series of notes in "bursts" rather than 
in an even series, e.g. 8 groups per second, each group being of three notes. 
In the same tree were five Black-collared Barbets L. torqualus which also 
broke out into territorial song-calls from time to time. There seemed to be 
a certain amount of inter-specific aggression between the two parties, which 
helps to confirm the statement in Benson et al. that these two species must be 
in competition. 

Acknowledgement : We are most grateful to C. W. Benson for improving a preliminary 
draft of this paper and for drawing our attention to the note by Dr. J. M. Winterbottom. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. 
London: Collins. 

Friedmann, H. 1955. The Honey-Guides. U.S.N. M. Bull. 208. 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1962. African Handbook of Birds: Birds of the 
southern third of Africa. Vol. 1 . London : Longmans. 

Winterbottom, J. M. 1932. On Chaplin's Barbet. Ibis: 13(2): 722-723. 
Address: Musumanene, P.O. Box 303, Choma, Zambia. 


(a) The first recorded nest of the Pink-breasted Lark 
Mirafra poecilosterna (Reichenow) 

The Pink-breasted Lark Mirafra poecilosterna is recorded in Mackworth-Praed 
& Grant (1955: 20-21) as "breeding in northern Guaso Nyiro, Kenya, 
March" and "in South Abyssinia (breeding condition), March". There are 
no other records known except of two young birds, of which P. L. Britton 
collected one (now in the National Museum, Nairobi), soliciting attention or 
food, near Wamba, Samburu District, Kenya on 31 July 1971. 

On 12 December 1975 I found a nest of this species containing two eggs, 
near Irirna Hill about 1 2 km north of Voi in Tsavo National Park (East), 
Kenya. The nest was under a Bauhinia taitensis bush o • 3 m high and c 5 m 
from a dirt road, surrounded by fairly dense bushes, mostly c 2 m high. The 
nest was simply a depression in the red sandy soil lined with dry grass. The 
eggs were pale grey covered fairly evenly with chocolate-brown spots. On 19 
December the nest was found to be empty. 

I have another five records from Tsavo East which imply breeding — one 
of a pair copulating, one of a bird carrying food and three of birds carrying 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(3)] 112 

nest material. All were in November-December except one in April. In 
Tsavo these are months when rain can be expected. 

2 May 1976 Peter C. Lack 

Reference : 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1955. Birds of Eastern and North-Eastern 
Africa. Vol. 2. Longmans, Green and Co., London. 

Address: Tsavo Research Project, P.O. Box 14, Voi, Kenya. 

(b) The name of Eleonora's Falcon 

A current practice of systematists (e.g. Vaurie 1965) is to cite the provenance 
oiFalco eleonorae as "Gene, 1839, Rev. Zool., p. 105. Sardinia". This contains 
a trivial error in that the author's name was Gene (single accent); but the 
matter goes further than that. The publication cited was not by Gene 
himself but was an anonymous news-item based on his exhibition and naming 
of a specimen, sent to him from Sardinia, at a meeting of the "Academie 
Royale de Turin" earlier in the year; the author's own paper appeared in the 
proceedings in 1840. This "leak" has unfortunately scooped the priority; 
moreover it is inaccurate both in introducing the misspelling of the author's 
name and in giving the date of the meeting as 1829 (making one look for a 
publication in or soon after that year, instead of 1839). The British Museum 
Catalogue (Sharpe 1874) cites the 1840 as well as the 1839 reference — a very 
desirable practice where the prior publication is not the definitive one. 
Vaughan (1 961), in his comprehensive paper on the species, had these facts 
correctly. It is of curious interest that the name was explicitly given in 
honour of Eleonora d'Arborea (d. 1404), a heroine of Sardinia's struggle for 
independence, because she had promulgated a law protecting goshawks and 
falcons at their nests. 

24 June 1976 A. Landsborough Thomson 

References : 

Travaux in edits. 1839. Reveue Zoologigue 1839: 105. 

Gene, G. 1 840. Memories della Reale Accademia della Science di Torino Serie II, Tomo II : 41-48. 

Sharpe, R. B. 1874. Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum 1 : 404. 

Vaughan, R. 1961. Ibis 103a: 1 14-128. 

Vaurie, C. 1965. The Birds of the Palearctic Fauna Non-Passeriformes : 226. 

Address: 42 Girdwood Road, London, SW18 5QS. 

o ~ •* HIST -&\ 



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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 96 No. 4 

December 1 976 


Tuesday, 1 8 January 1977 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, 
London, W.i (between Old Bond Street and Albermarle Street, nearest underground 
station Green Park). Dr. Peter Ward mil speak on Palaearctic migrants in Nigeria. Those 
wishing to attend must send a cheque for £2-30 per person to the Hon. Secretary, with 
their acceptance on the enclosed slip. 

Tuesday, ij March 1977 at 6 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre at the British Museum (Natural 
History), Cromwell Road, London, S.W.7. Mr. J. M. Forshaw, the author of the well- 
known monograph on parrots, will give a talk on the ecology of parrots in Australia and their 
adaptations to changing environments, with coloured illustration. Supper will follow at 
7.15 p.m. in the Conversazione Room. Members wishing to attend must inform the Hon. 
Secretary by Thursday, 10 March 1977 and send him at the same time a cheque for £2-70 
per person for the cost of supper (including wine or soft drinks). 

This meeting is being held jointly with the International Council for Bird Preservation 
(British Section). 

Tuesday, $ May 1977 at 6.15 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. at the Senior Common Room, South Side, 
Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance in Princes Gardens, S.W.7, off Exhibition 
Road). A symposium on Asiatic Birds, at which the speakers will include Lord Medway on 
Migrants in Malaysia, Mr. M. W. Woodcock on the Indian Avifauna and Mr. I. C. Orr 
on Ornithology in China. 

Tuesday, 19 July 1977 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, 
London, W.i, Mr. Stanley Cramp on The Birds of the Western Palaearctic (Vol. I of which it 
is hoped will be published in May 1977). 


J. H. Elgood (Chairman) P. Hogg (Vice-Chair man) 

R. E. F. Peal (Hon. Secretary) M. St. J. Sugg (Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk (Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison C. E. Wheeler 

Dr. G. Beven 

• 3: 


113 [Btdl.B.O.C. 1976:96(4)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol.96 No. 4 Published: 20 December 1976 

The seven hundred and second Meeting of the Club was held at the Senior 
Common Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 at 7 p.m. 
on Tuesday, 21 September 1976. 

Chairman: Professor J. H. Elgood: present 17 members and 10 guests. 

Dr. M. P. Harris gave an illustrated talk on Puffins on St. Kilda, with 
special reference to their fluctuations in numbers, both there and at other 
breeding colonies in the British Isles. 

The seven hundred and third Meeting of the Club was held at the Senior 
Common Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 at 7 P- m - on 
Tuesday, 16 November 1976. 

Chairman: Professor J. H. Elgood: present 16 members and 11 guests. 

Dr. H. N. Southern spoke on A population of Tawny Owls. He discussed 
relationships between the Tawny Owls at Wytham Wood, Oxford, and their 
prey and the changes there in size of breeding population. He illustrated his 
talk with slides and played tape recordings showing that individual male 
Tawny Owls could be identified by voice alone. 

The duets of Laniarius atroflavus, Cisticola discolor 

and Bradypterus barratti 

by L. G. Grimes 

Received 6 May 1976 
When Thorpe (1972) reviewed the occurrence of duetting in birds there 
were no recordings, only verbal descriptions, of the duets of three species 
which occur on Mount Cameroun (4095 m): the Yellow-breasted Shrike 
Laniarius atroflavus, the Brown-backed Warbler Cisticola discolor (Serle 1950, 
1965), and the East African and South African races of the Evergreen-forest 
Warbler Bradypterus barratti (Vincent 1935, Moreau 1941). During a stay of 
eight days in the montane forest, beginning 30 December 1974, I tape- 
recorded the duets of all three species, using a Phillips cassette tape-recorder 
(Model 2205) with a microphone (Phillips EL 1980/03) placed at the focus of 
a parabola (o • 6 m in diameter). Sonograms of sections of these recordings 
were made using a Kaye Sonograph (Model 66IA) operating in the wide 
band mode. For comparative studies I made sonograms of the duets of 
relevant species using the published recordings of Chappuis (1974). 

The Yellow-breasted Shrike Laniarius atroflavus was located at all 
altitudes within the montane forest. Duetting was regularly heard each day 
in specific areas. In a wooded ravine at 1900 m just above Hut I (1830 m) 
these duetting bouts probably always involved the same pair, but no birds 
were ringed for identification, and the main function of duetting appeared to 
be territorial. Some of the longer duet sequences were obtained either by 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 97 6: 96(4)] 


playback to a pair of a recorded duet, either their own or that of another pair, 
or when a second pair was present. Birds duetting in the canopy, often in 
sight of each other, would invariably approach the tape-recorder on hearing 
the playback and continue to duet. A similar response to playback of duets 
occurs in L. barbarus and L. erythrogaster (Thorpe 1972). In one series of 
L. atroflavus duets, with both birds on the same side of the tape-recorder, the 
mean reaction time was 145 ±10 (sd) msec and the mean time interval 
between duets was 4*45±0' 12 (sd) sec. 

The frequency/time profile of the first component of a atroflavus duet 
invariably had the inverted U profile shown in Fig. 1. The general lack of 
variability in its profile is in marked contrast to the variability found in the 
duets of barbarus and erythrogaster (Thorpe 1972). The second component 
(Fig. 1) is a single "clicking" note described by Serle (1965) as "cnook", 


f\ I A :i f\ 

Figure 1 . Diagrammatic sound spectograms (1-5) of the first component and (6-9) of the 
complete duet of Laniarius atroflavus (male? dark, female? hatched. 1-5 are taken from 
separate duet sequences and 6-9 from one duet sequence. 

and is very similar to that given by barbarus^ although in barbarus two or 
three such notes are added in response to the first component. It is, however, 
quite different from the response of erythrogaster ■, which is described as a 
prolonged snarl in which the frequency range is smaller than in the other 
two shrikes (Thorpe 1972: 112). 

The Brown-backed Warbler Cisticola discolor was the most vocal of the 
birds encountered on the mountain, and duetting was also heard below the 
forest belt, in grassland near Great Sopo (850 m). Pairs were breeding at all 
elevations within the forest. Territorial counter duetting between pairs was 
frequent and regularly occurred in the same locations day after day so that 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

territorial boundaries were easily traceable. All duets recorded were in 
response to either duets of neighbouring pairs or playback of a recorded 
duet. After playback the birds approached within a few metres of the tape- 
recorder and duetted, and this was often accompanied by audible wing 
flapping by both birds, more strenuously so by one (male?), which also 
bobbed up and down. Whenever one bird began its duet theme the second 
bird, if separate from it, would fly to the first before joining in the duet; 
duetting at a distance with the birds out of sight of each other was not 
recorded. This coming together of the two birds has been noted in C. 
nigricolis and C. hunteri (Thorpe 1972). 

{ U 







Figure 2. Diagrammatic sound spectograms of eight themes (A-H) used as the first 
component (? male) in 31 duet sequences of one pair of Cisticola discolor recorded in 
the eucalyptus plantation above Buea, 28 December 1974. The beginning of the next 
theme in the duet sequence is included in each diagram. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 1 16 

Because of slight differences in the timing of the two components of a 
single duetting pair it was possible unambiguously to identify the notes of 
each bird by comparing sonograms of two or more sections of a duet. Each 
component (Figs. 2, 3) consisted of the regularly spaced (timed) repetition 


IJ 4 

■ Ilk.fMn 


i 1 


Figure 3. Diagrammatic sound spectograms of four examples of the second component 
used in 3 1 duet sequences of Cisticola discolor recorded in the eucalyptus plantation 
on 28 December 1974 (see Fig. 2). Each line shows a continuous recording. 

of a phrase (consisting of a series of notes). Whereas the phrase of one bird 
(male?) carried considerably from one duet to the next (Fig. 2), the same 
variations re-occurring in later duets, the phrases of the second bird were 
much more regular and varied little between duets (Fig. 3). Analysis of 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 118 

duets of other pairs of C. discolour which I recorded on the mountain together 
with those recorded by Chappuis (1974) showed that whereas the phrases 
of the first component were different for each pair, none coinciding with 
those in Fig. 2, the second component of the duet and its oscillatory nature 
varied little between duetting pairs. 

The male Evergreen-forest Warbler Bradypterus barratti was also very 
vocal during my stay on the mountain, usually singing from within dense 
thicket, creeping slowly through it between bouts of song. Males in song 
were invariably singing in response to neighbouring conspecifics and the 
function of the song appears, therefore, to be mainly territorial. A playback 
of a song always brought the singing bird nearer the tape-recorder, and 
resulted in further song. Serle (1965 : 91) describes the song as "loud, 
explosive in quality, unvaried in pitch and rhythm" consisting of a number 
of repetitions of one phrase "o-chip, o-chip, o-chip", etc. On several oc- 
casions I noted aurally that one warbler was singing the same song as a 
neighbour, only to be proved wrong by the sonograms. These (Fig. 4) 
show that a male has a large number of song types which are quite different 
from those used by neighbours singing in competition. Other Evergreen- 
forest Warblers recorded at various heights on the mountain all showed this 
variability which suggests that a complex system of dialects exist. It is while 
the male sings his loud song that the female may join in a duet, adding in 
contrast a series of weak whistling notes (Fig. 5), only audible within a few 

Figure 5. Diagrammatic sound spectograms of the duet structures of Bradypterus barratti 
recorded near the forest-grassland boundary at 2100 m on Mount Cameroun. Male 
dark, female open symbols. 

metres of the singing bird. As the pair are close together when they duet and 
visible to each other it is difficult to suggest a function for the duet, unless it 
is linked to courtship. It is hoped that this vocalization data on the Cameroun 
race, (B. p. lope^i), will be made use of in a comparative study of the other 
allopatric races, B. b. mariae in East Africa and B. b. barratti south of the 


When Hall & Moreau (1970) highlighted the uncertainties in the taxo- 
nomic relationships of some African passerines they based their conclusions 

ii9 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

on their distribution patterns and morphological data, and it is only recently 
that data on vocalizations have become available for use in taxonomix 
studies (Chappuis 1974, Grimes 1974). Lanyon (1969) has indicated the use 
of such data but the limitations and need for care in interpreting the data has 
been emphasised by Smith (1970) and Nottebohm (1975). In particular, if 
the species being compared learn their duets and are allopatric it would not 
be surprising if their duets were different in structure even though the species 
were closely related. 

The four montane cisticolas of Africa (C chubbi, C. discolor , C. nigricolis and 
C. hunteri) duet and are all allopatric. Lynes (1930) considered them as four 
species, White (1962) regarded them as conspecific, and Hall & Moreau 
(1970) considered three were conspecific and hunteri a distinct species. The 
complexity of the duet patterns of individual discolor and the variability found 
within the Cameroun mountain population suggest that the duets are learnt. 
Some variability also has been found in the three other cisticolas (Thorpe 
1972). Differences in the duet structures of the four allopatric species might, 
therefore, be expected and indeed do occur; typical duets o£ chubbi, nigrocolis 
and hunteri are illustrated in Thorpe (1972). Whereas the duets oinigrocilis and 
hunteri have little in common and are quite distinct from those of chubbi and 
discolor, which latter two have close similarities. This prompted Chappuis 
(1974) to suggest that chubbi and discolor were conspecific, but this requires 
confirmation by further field experiments (Smith 1970) : recently R. Sternstedt 
{in litt.) found that discolor showed no response to a playback of a duet of 
chubbi. Because of these facts I am inclined to follow Lynes (1930) and keep 
all four as species, but agree with Hall & Moreau (1970) that placing them 
in a superspecies hunteri would indicate their close relationship. 

Hall & Moreau (1970) erect the superspecies Laniarius barbarus and include 
within it seven essentially allopatric shrikes (barbarus, erythrogaster, atrococ- 
cineus, mufumberi, atroflavus, ruficeps, luhderi). All duet but only the duets of 
barbarus and erythrogaster have been studied in any detail (Thorpe 1972). The 
present study indicates that the duet structure of atroflavus has closer simi- 
larities to that of barbarus than erythrogaster, although the first component of a 
atroflavus duet lacks the variability found in those of the other two shrikes. 
The latter suggests that auditory signals are less important to atroflavus than 
to barbarus and erythrogaster and probably reflects the differences in their 
habitats ; atroflavus living mostly in the open canopy of the montane forest 
whereas the others are birds of low dense thicket. 

Acknowledgements : I am grateful to the Frank M. Chapman Fund for financing my visit 
to Cameroun and the Revs. L. Martin and L. SchefHe for their help during my stay at Buea. 
I thank Mr. F. Walsh and Dr. J. F. Monk for their helpful comments on the script. 

References : 

Chappuis, C. 1974. Illustration sonore de problemes bioacoustiques poses par les oiseaux de 

la zone Ethiopienne. Alauda 42(4): 467-500. 
Grimes, L. G. 1974. Duetting in Hypergerus atriceps and its taxonomic relationship to 

Eminia lepida. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93 : 89-96. 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1 970. An Atlas ofSpeciation in African Passerine Birds. London : 

British Museum (Nat. Hist.). 
Lanyon, W. E. 1969. Vocal characters and avian systematics. In Bird Vocalisations (Ed. 

R. A. Hinde). Cambridge University Press. 
Lynes, H. 1930. Review of the genus Cisticola. Ibis Suppl. 
Moreau, R. E. 1941. Duetting in birds. Ibis (14)5 : 176-177. 
Nottebohm, F. 1975. Vocal behaviour in birds. In Avian Biology No. 5 (Ed. D. S. Farner & 

J. R. King). Academic Press. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 120 

Serle, W. 1950. A contribution to the ornithology of the British Camerouns. Ibis 92: 343- 

376, 602-638. 
— 1965. A third contribution to the ornithology of the British Camerouns. Ibis 107: 

60-94, 230-246. 
Smith, W. J. 1970. The acquisition and function of vocal behaviour. Science 167: 39-41. 
Thorpe, W. H. 1972. Duetting and antiphonal song in birds. Behaviour Suppl. 18: Leiden. 
Vincent, J. 1935. The birds of Northern Portuguese East Africa. Ibis (13) 5 : 485-529. 
White, C. M. N. 1962. A check list of the Ethiopian Muscipidae (Sylviinae), Part 2 & 3 

Occ. Pap. Natn. Mus. S. Rhod. 26B: 653-694, 695-738. 

Address: Rossall School, Fleetwood, Lanes. FY7 8JW. 

Additional notes on the status of Eos goodfellowi 
by D. T. Holy oak 

Received 20 May 1976 

In an earlier note (Holy oak 1970) it was argued that the two living specimens 
from which Ogilvie-Grant (1907) described Eos goodfellowi were probably 
juveniles of Eos bornea, as suggested previously by Siebers (1930), and 
apparently overlooked by Peters (1937). Walters (1975) has recently argued 
that E. goodfellowi was unlikely to have been based on juveniles of E. bornea 
because the birds seen by Ogilvie-Grant were said to have been obtained on 
Obi in the Moluccas, where E. bornea has not been recorded, and because he 
considers that the coloration described by Ogilvie-Grant differs from that of 
juveniles of E. bornea. He also comments that "To accept E. goodfellowi as 
merely a juvenile of E. bornea would require that one accepted the existence 
of a hitherto unknown population of bornea on Obi", and speculates that E. 
goodfellowi might be an "old" {sic) and possibly extinct montane representa- 
tive of the genus on Obi; although he later obscures these arguments by 
also suggesting that the specimens obtained by Goodfellow might possibly 
have been inter-island vagrants. 

There is no evidence that the specimens originated in Obi nor that they 
were in fact "captured" on Obi as stated in my earlier paper: indeed, the 
most likely thing is that Goodfellow purchased two live bright red, caged 
parrots on a short visit to Obi. However, inter-island trade was well es- 
tablished by then and the origin of Goodfellow's birds must be quite 
uncertain if they were cage birds, although if so, they are more likely to have 
been juveniles. 

Examination of the same three specimens in the collection of the British 
Museum (Natural History) on which I commented (1970) suggests to Walters 
that E. goodfellowi is not the juvenile of E. bornea. Ogilvie-Grant (1907) 
described goodfellowi as resembling E. bornea (then known as E. rubra), but 
having lavender-blue ear-coverts and the back and thighs purplish-blue, one 
bird having the feathers of the middle of the belly deeply edged with blue, 
the other lacking any blue on the belly. I have recently located additional 
specimens of E. bornea showing some or all of these characters in the 
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH, New York) and the 
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN, Paris). 

The relevant specimens and their characters may be enumerated as follows : 

AMNH 616962. Amboina, unsexed. Lavender-blue ear-coverts; deep lavender-blue 
thighs ; a few lavender-blue marks on tips of belly feathers ; 

121 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

AMNH 616945. Buru, unsexed. A little lavender-blue on ear-coverts; some lavender- 
blue on thigh feathers although these are mostly missing; lavender-blue feather tips in centre 
of belly; 

AMNIH 616948. Buru, $. Lavender-blue in feathers of ear-coverts; some lavender-blue 
in feathers of thighs and centre of belly; 

AMNH 616950. Buru, <$. Faint lavender-blue wash on feathers of ear-coverts; much 
lavender-blue on thigh feathers and in centre of lower belly; 

AMNH 616999. Little Key, Key Is. immature <$. Dull lavender-blue ear-coverts; much 
lavender-blue on thighs and in centre of lower belly; 

AMNH 616995. Little Key Is. immature o*. Entirely lavender-blue ear-coverts; middle of 
lower belly and thighs almost entirely lavender-blue. 

BM(NH) 1910. 12. 28.101. Kei Is. o*- Distinct lavender-blue ear-coverts; scattered feather 
tips of violet-blue on thighs and belly. 

BM(NH) 191 Amboina, $. Some lavender-blue on ear-coverts and a little 
violet-blue on thighs and belly; 

BM(NH) 1889.1.20.155. Labelled "Aru Islands", but presumably in error, unsexed. 
Faint lavender-blue tips to feathers of ear-coverts and scattered violet-blue feather tips on 
thighs and belly; 

MNHN ex Museum Boucard, Coll. Wallace. Buru, o*. One tiny blue feather tip in ear- 
coverts; extensive lavender-blue on feather tips of thighs and lower belly; 

MNHN ex Coll. H. O. Forbes, no. 639. Buru, o*- Lacks blue on ear-coverts, but has 
scattered blue tips to feathers of thighs and lower belly; 

It is impossible to deduce how Ogilvie-Grant was able to suppose that lack 
of blue on the belly could decide maturity in goodfellowi (so that Walters' 
comments are irrelevant on this point), especially as the relative extent of 
blue on the belly and ear-coverts varies considerably in the above specimens. 
AMNH 616962 has much blue on the ear-coverts but little on the belly, 
whereas several others have the opposite. Walters emphasises that the three 
BM(NH) specimens have "a great deal of brown on the belly", which "is 
charactersitic of juvenile Eos", and "Had there been any brown on the live 
E. goodfellowi it seems unlikely that Ogilvie-Grant would have failed to notice 
it and realise that this signified immaturity". The dull brown colour of 
juveniles is derived from the bases of the belly feathers and is only con- 
spicuous when the red or blue feather tips are worn or when the plumage is 
disarranged. The brown would probably be less conspicuous in a well- 
groomed live bird than in most skins, but is anyway inconspicuous in some 
skins (e.g. AMNH 616962). 

It is not impossible that E. goodfellowi is a montane endemic of Obi, since 
the birds of Obi are not very well known, but the only island where Eos is 
represented by both montane and lowland forms is Seran (Ceram) which is a 
much larger island than Obi and with much more extensive montane forests. 
A more compelling objection however is that the known presence of two 
large lories on Obi, Eos squamata obiensis and Lorius garrulus flavopallialus, 
suggests by analogy with other islands of similar size that a third is unlikely 
also to be present there. Collections from Obi do include a variety of small, 
inconspicuous forest birds, so it is perhaps unlikely that a third species of 
large and predominantly bright red lory that most likely lives in noisy flocks 
should have been overlooked there. 

Unless substantial evidence for the occurrence of a second species of Eos 
on Obi can be obtained it seems best to regard goodfellowi as likely to have 
been based on introduced caged immatures of E. bornea. 

I am grateful to the Departments of Ornithology of the American Museum of Natural 
History, British Museum (Natural History) and Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle for 
facilities to examine specimens in their care. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 122 

References : 

Holyoak, D. T. 1970. The status of Eos goodfellowi. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90: 91. 
Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. 1907. Eos goodfellowi sp. nov. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 19: 102. 
Peters, J. L. 1937. Check-list of Birds of the World. Cambridge, Mass. Vol. III. 
Siebers, H. C. 1930. Fauna Buruana, Aves. Treubia 7, suppl. 

Walters, M. P. 1975. The status of Eos goodfellowi Ogilvie-Grant. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95: 
129-13 1. 

Address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, England. 

Caprimulgus affinis as an urban species in Indonesia 

by W. G. Harvey 

Received 2j May 1976 

The habitat of Caprimulgus affinis is described as "open sandy and shingle 
beaches, on ridges with bare rocky areas" (Delacour), "bare and stony hills" 
(Smythies) and "open forest, scrub" (King et a/.). Although I have recorded 
this nightjar feeding over rice fields near Jakarta and flushed it from sand 
beaches on the South Java coast, in parts of West Indonesia it is very much 
an urban species. I have recorded it since April 1974 in the towns of Medan, 
Padang, Palembang and Mentok (Bangka Island) in Sumatra, and in Jakarta 
on Java. D. A. Holmes (pers. comm.) can add Jambi and Telukbetung in 
Sumatra, and (since 1976) Bogor in Java. I did not see it in Banda Aceh 
(December) in Sumatra, in Pontianak (January) and Banjarmasin (December) 
in Kaliamantan, nor in Bandung (June and August), Jogyakarta (June and 
July) and Surabaya (June and July) in Java. 

Most records refer to birds flying over the urban area after dusk and calling. 
They are not common in the Sumatran towns, but they are very common in 
Jakarta, where, during April and May, it is not unusual to see up to 12 birds 
in the air at once or hear the call at up to 20 different places on a drive of no 
more than 10 km through the city. I have recorded the species in every 
month in Jakarta, but it is more conspicuous from March to July, when it 
probably breeds, at the end of the wettest season. The birds are usually seen 
flying slowly around lighted buildings after sunset, regularly calling — a 
distinct two note screech. Often several birds fly round together and oc- 
casionally courtship flights, involving a much slower version of the normal 
flight with wings struck vertically upwards and downwards, has been 

Large buildings (e.g. the large hotels in the Menteng area) although not 
necessarily made attractive to flying insects by being lit outside, are neverthe- 
less attractive to nightjars, which are often seen perched (and calling) on 
their flat roofs. Occasionally daylight sightings of flushed birds have been 
recorded. It was thought that the nightjars might be nesting on the flat roofs 
in the manner of the Chordeiles species in the United States, but several day 
time explorations by D. A. Holmes and myself have revealed nothing. If 
these roofs are not the normal breeding site, then either the birds nest, 
presumably colonially, on the very few areas of fenced in waste ground 
which are not invaded by human beings, or they nest outside the city (e.g. 
on golf courses) and come into the city to feed at night. The latter seems 
unlikely since numbers of birds moving into the city would presumably be 
observed. Since the urban habitat of C. affinis is not, apparently, mentioned 

123 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

in the literature it may well be a recent development, which it would be of 
interest to follow-up throughout its range. 

References : 

Delacour, J. 1947. Birds of Malaysia. New York. 

King, B., Woodcock, M. & Dickinson, E. C. 1975. A Field Guide to the Birds of South East 

Asia. London. 
Smythies, B. E. i960. The Birds of Borneo. Edinburgh & London. 

Address: c/o 17 Barton Road, Canterbury, Kent. 

The Ostrich Struthio camelus in Darfur, Republic of Sudan 

by R. T. Wilson 

Received $o July 1976 

Darfur occupies an area in excess of 400,000 km 2 in the northwest of the 
Republic of the Sudan, bounded to the south by the seasonal Bahr el 'Arab 
at about 9 30' N, stretching to the north at 29 N, to the west at c. 22 30' E 
and to the east at c. zj° E. The annual rainfall decreases from about 900 mm 
in the south to effectively nil in the north. The Jebel Marra, rising to about 
3,000 m in the west-central area of the province, has some local effect on the 
otherwise even northwards reduction in rainfall. 

Altitude, with the exception of Jebel Marra and its associated uplands, 
varies little, being c. 500-600 m, and rainfall is the principal factor in deter- 
mining the vegetation pattern, although soil has some effect locally. In the 
south tall, fairly dense deciduous savanna woodland, dominated by Combre- 
tum hartmannianum, Anogeissus schimperi and Sclerocaryia birrea, with an 
understorey of tall perennial grasses, gives way gradually to thorn woodland 
at c. 1 1° N. The principal constituent of the latter is Acacia seyal on clay soils 
and Acacia Senegal on sandy soils: medium height annual grasses, mainly 
Aristida spp. form the understorey. Semi-desert scrub, mainly Acacia 
melliferra and Acacia nubica dominate a transition zone from c. i2°-i4° N, 
north of which true desert prevails, with the exception of some sparse 
vegetation in scattered depressions and watercourses. 


This paper is based on a survey of the literature pertaining to the supply of 
ostrich feathers and the distribution and abundance of the Ostrich Struthio 
camelus in the recent past; on observations by the author during 1 972-1 974 
and in 1976, whilst living and working in Darfur; and on aerial surveys 
carried out in 1975 and 1976. An invaluable source of data has been the 
Intelligence Reports of the Sudan Government from 1892 to 1924. 


Almost 200 years ago, W. G. Browne, one of the earliest of European 
travellers in the area, noted that Ostrich were common everywhere, and that 
ostrich feathers were both a principal item of trade and also formed a large 
part of the tribute of lesser chiefs to the Sultan of Darfur (Browne 1799). 
Ostrich feathers, along with slaves and ivory, were one of the principal 
exports of Darfur for very many years and Ostriches were kept as domestic 
animals by many families until well into the twentieth century. In the early 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 124 

1 870s the birds were reported to be very common in the east of Darfur and 
large bundles of feathers were seen rotting in the Sultan's treasury (Nachtigal 
1879, English translation 1971). 

During the Mahdiya, from c. 1 880-1 898 and during the reign of Sultan 
Ali Dinar 1 898-1 91 6, no Europeans visited Darfur and the distribution and 
abundance of Ostrich at this time are accordingly unknown, except that the 
military and civil intelligence reports contain several references to both 
Ostriches and feathers, and it is probable that numbers underwent a decline 
in the last two decades of the nineteenth century — one of the Sultan's com- 
manders at one time resorted to the capture of 300 domestic birds from a 
local tribe (Sudan Intelligence Reports: No. 1, June 1892; No. 92, May 
1902). Early in the twentieth century numbers appear to have increased, 
particularly in the northeast of Darfur (SIR No. 92, May 1902) and in the 
southwest (SIR No. 104, March 1903 ; No. 105, April 1903). Ostriches were 
still kept in captivity in large numbers as late as 191 6, when every household 
among the Ma'aliya tribe was noted to have 2-3 birds (SIR No. 267, Oct. 
1 916), although it is not clear whether these were wild caught or bred in 

During the 1920s and 1930s considerable travel and exploration was 
possible in Darfur as a result not only of the pacification of the country but 
also due to the advent of the motor car. Ostriches were said (Maydon 1923) 
to be "very common" in the vicinity of Um Gereinat (16 30' N, 26 45' E) 
in herds of 50-100, and nests could be found everywhere containing 10-20 
eggs: wandering Arabs were said to live almost entirely on these eggs. A 
year later in a similar longitude but at 18 N, a district officer discovered 
rock pictures of Ostrich as well as seeing many live birds (Newbold 1924) and 
again in 1927 he saw many Ostrich at 16 30' N (Newbold & Shaw 1928). 
Again, in 1932, Ostrich were seen (Bagnold 1933) as far north as 16 30' N 
at between 24 E and 2 5 ° E and were present in large numbers in herds of 
40-80 just south of this area: many unattended clutches of 6-10 eggs were 
passed and one nest containing 94 eggs was found. In southern Darfur the 
bird was reported (Madden 1934) as a common resident throughout and 
chicks were seen in February. 

The evidence suggests (as travel in the early days was confined to the dry, 
cool weather) that the breeding season of the Ostrich throughout Darfur was 
in the early part of the winter, eggs being laid from October onwards. In East 
Africa the breeding season is throughout the dry season (L. H. Brown) and it 
is possible that in Darfur, where the rains are from June to September, this 
is also the case. Some synchronisation of breeding, such as occurs in East 
Africa (L. M. Hurxthal) can also be deduced, particularly from the large 
clutches recorded and from the size of the herds, which probably comprised 
mainly young birds of about one year old. 


Unfortunately none of the foregoing data are quantitative and it is not 
possible to estimate total numbers from them. It is likely, however, that the 
present area of distribution of the Ostrich in Darfur is not as widespread as 
previously, when they were common from as far south as 9 30' N to at least 
as far north as 16 30' N. Some Ostrich survive in northern Darfur, but 
apparently very few occur over large areas in the centre of the province, 

125 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

although two were seen on the Wadi el Ku in 1969 (A. Rendell). In southeast 
Darfur low-level aerial surveys of the stratified random sample type carried 
out during April and October of 1975 gave estimates of 1200-15 00 birds, 
largely confined to an area of 5,000 km 2 of open savanna on sand, centred 
approximately on io° N, 27 E. A similar aerial survey in April 1976 gave 
estimates of 450-500 Ostrich on about 10,000 km 2 of similar country centred 
on 12 30' N, 23 45' E, close to the international boundary of the Sudan with 
Tchad and the Central African Republic. 

These figures give densities of 0-24-0-30 and 0-04-0-05 Ostriches per 
km 2 for the respective areas. The densities are broadly comparable with the 
0-08-0-77 for Ostrich in the dry season in northern Tanzania (Lamprey 
1964) and the range of o- 06-0 • 54 for other semi-arid areas of Tanzania and 
Kenya (L. M. Hurxthal). 

It is unlikely that the total number of Ostrich in Darfur exceeds 4,000 
birds at present, but that in the two principal areas in which they still occur 
the populations are fairly healthy. However, increasing pressure from human 
and domestic livestock populations will probably lead in the future to further 
reductions in range with a consequent reduction in total numbers. 

References : 

Bagnold, R. A. 1933. A further journey through the Libyan Desert. Geogr.J. 82: 103-130, 

Browne, W. G. 1799. Travels in Africa, Egypt and Syria from the year 1792 -1798. London. 
Lamprey, H. F. 1964. Estimation of the large mammal densities, biomass and energy 

exchange in the Tarangire Game Reserve. E. A. Wildl. J. 2: 1-46. 
Madden, J. F. 1934. Notes on the birds of southern Darfur. Sudan Notes Rec. 17: 83-101. 
Maydon, H. C. 1923. North Kordofan to south Dongola. Geogr.J. 61 (1): 34-41. 
Nachtigal, G. 1879. Sahara and Sudan. IV Wadai and Darfur. (Translated [1971] from the 

German by A. G. D. Fisher and H. J. Fisher). University of California Press, Berkeley 

and Los Angeles. 
Newbold, D. 1924. A Desert odyssey of a thousand miles. Sudan Notes Rec. 7: 43-101. 
Newbold, D. & Shaw, W. B. K. 1928. An exploration of the south Libyan desert. Sudan 

Notes Rec. 11: 103-194. 

Address: R. T. Wilson, 21 Westfield Grove, Wakefield, U.K. 

Comments on the Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 11 August 1976 

Peters (1934: 203) listed three subspecies of Gallinula tenebrosa. He adopted 
the arrangement then current, for there had been no critical study of geo- 
graphical variation in the species, nor has there been subsequently. The 
following notes result from a study of the status of the species in Wallacea. 
Peters gave the range of nominate tenebrosa Gould (1846) as Australia. 
This requires qualification for it is known only from eastern and southwest 
Australia (Macdonald 1973: map 44, Condon 1975 : 105-106). G. t.frontata 
Wallace (1863) is known in Wallacea from Celebes, Bum, Ambon, Seram, 
Sumba, Flores and Timor. It is thus much more isolated from the nominate 
form than is implied by Peters' distributions, for /. tenebrosa is absent from 
north Australia apart from north Queensland. The main character supposed 
to diistmguish. frontata from tenebrosa is the colour of the legs and feet, mostly 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 126 

red h\ frontata, mostly green or greenish yellow in tenebrosa. The discovery of 
front at a considerably antedated Gould's description of tenebrosa: Reinwardt 
collected it in 1821 in north Celebes, and Temminck at the Leiden Museum 
used a manuscript name Gallinula haematopus for his specimens, thus empha- 
sising the red legs, but did not publish the name. 

Salvadori (1882: 279) cited Wallace as recording the legs red, green at the 
joints. Meyer & Wiglesworth (1898 : 714) using frontata binomially, gave its 
English name as "Red-legged Moor-hen", and quoted Guillemard for a bird 
from Celebes as "tarsus red, olive green at the joints". Dr. G. F. Mees {in 
litt.) has informed me that Coomans de Ruiter noted of Celebes birds that the 
legs were vermilion with grey joints. Five birds from Buru in the American 
Museum of Natural History record on their labels "feet vermilion, joints 
olive green" : in one from Timor "feet red with a greenish tinge". In con- 
trast Stresemann (1914: $ 5) described a bird from Seram as having the tarsus 
brownish yellow with unfeathered tibiotarsus red. He made no comment on 
this anomalous specimen. 

Recent literature on Australian birds (Serventy & Whittell 1967, Frith 
1969, Slater 1971, Macdonald 1973) states that in Australia the legs of G. 
tenebrosa are green or greenish yellow, red on tibiotarsus. Most museum 
specimens with the colour of the legs recorded on their labels confirm this, 
but some birds do not conform to this description. Mees (in litt.) noted that 
birds seen near Canberra in August had "dirty orange" legs. Goodwin (in 
Hall 1974: 85) described a recent specimen from New South Wales as "legs 
yellow, grey at ankle ("knees") and toe joints, and orange on tibia above 
ankle, and on front of tarsus". When I recently examined this specimen, the 
front of the tarsus had dried to a reddish shade. A skin in AMNH from Albert 
Passage, South Australia is labelled as having the front of the tarsus orange. 
In the same museum one from Gosford, New South Wales, and another 
from Melbourne, Victoria describe on their labels the legs and feet as "red". 
In the first the legs have dried to orange, in the second to red. There is thus 
good evidence that Australian birds sometimes have the tarsus partly 
orange. If the two skins quoted above are accurately labelled, some have red 
legs. Whether these variations are seasonal or individual remains to be as- 

Uncertainty over leg colour as a constant subspecific character is further 
raised by a population of this species apparently localised in the Hall Sound 
and Port Moresby area of south east New Guinea. Salvadori (1882) listed 
three collected in 1875 at Bioto and Naiabui, Hall Sound. D'Albertis had 
recorded the legs as red with greenish joints, and Salvadori accordingly 
identified them as frontata. He also noted that Ramsay had earlier reported a 
specimen from Laloki river as tenebrosa, and queried that identification. None 
of the many collectors working in the southern lowlands of New Guinea 
since 1875 have found this species and Dr. R. Schodde (in litt.) informs me 
that there are no specimens from New Guinea in the CSIRO collections. 
However Mackay (1970: 25) states that the species breeds in the Port 
Moresby area. This New Guinea population is geographically remote from 
frontata in Wallacea, but lives quite near to tenebrosa in north Queensland. It 
is thus surprising if it is really referable to frontata as the recorded leg colour 
indicates. Further information about the legs of the Port Moresby birds 
should be recorded. 

i2 7 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

The long accepted distinction between tenebrosa a.nd frontata based on the 
colour of the legs is evidently valid for most specimens but not wholly 
constant, and there are anomalies both in leg colour and distribution which 
require further investigation. Meyer & Wiglesworth (1898) also stated that 
frontata is darker below than tenebrosa. In the material which I have examined 
six frontata viewed in series appear a little more sooty grey ventrally than 
Australian birds, but most of the skins are old and may have undergone 
postmortem changes. I should hesitate to rely on this character to distin- 
guish frontata. I find some indication that the two forms differ slightly in size. 
Australian birds exhibit a marked sexual disparity in size. Five males have 
wings 214-223 mm, nine females 191-206 mm. On the other hand, in 
frontata from Celebes four females' wings measure 187-201 mm, eight 
unsexed birds 188-206 mm. Unless the latter are all females, frontata shows 
no marked sexual disparity in size. 

One other record attributed to frontata requires comment. Gyldenstolpe 
(1955 : 211) recorded, with hesitation, four specimens from the Vogelkop, 
northwest New Guinea, as frontata. He noted that they were very dark above 
without any olive dorsal tinge and that the legs were reddish yellow with 
grey-green joints. One of these skins is now in the Leiden Museum, and Dr. 
Mees states that it is blacker than specimens from Celebes and Moluccas, 
which are however older skins. It may be best to include the Vogelkop birds 
in G. t. neumanni Hartert (1930), described from Sentani Lake, north New 
Guinea, as a small form with blackish mantle lacking any olive brown 
suffusion. The leg colours of the Vogelkop birds agree with some recorded in 
neumanni. I have not investigated the latter race in detail, but note that it is 
known from three isolated populations which differ clinally in size. From 
west to east wing measurements (mm) are : — 

Vogelkop: 2^, 198, 201, 2 $$, 180, 186; Sentani Lake: 8 unsexed, 170- 
188; Middle Sepik: 1 <£, 170, 1 $ 161. 

Dr. Schodde (in litt.) has commented that in Australia there have been 
reported sightings of tenebrosa with white fleckings on the flanks, and that 
this has prompted speculation that it may be conspecific with Gallinula 
chloropus. Mayr & Short (1970) list them as members of a species group. Both 
species were found breeding at the same locality in southeast Borneo by 
Grabowski last century. In southwest Celebes Wallace obtained both together 
at Makassar and Brautigam both at Bone, without information about 
breeding. The two are sympatric at these localities. In the Lesser Sundas the 
supposed sympatry is less clear. At Lombok chloropus is known but not 
tenebrosa. At Sumbawa, Elbert obtained only tenebrosa and Rensch only 
chloropus ', a juvenile, probably indicating breeding. Wallace obtained only 
tenebrosa at Flores last century but, more recently Paynter (1963) reported 
thence a series of chloropus including proof of breeding. It is thus possible 
that the two species are not completely sympatric in the Lesser Sundas and 
do not actually occur together at any locality. Since the dates when one or 
other species has been obtained in Sumbawa and Flores are separated by 
many years, the more recent being chloropus, the status of tenebrosa may have 
changed. Up to date information about supposed sympatry in the Lesser 
Sundas is needed. 

Acknowledgments: I am grateful to Dr. D. W. Snow and Mr. I. C. J. Galbraith for facilities 
to study material in the British Museum (Natural History), Tring; to Mrs. M. LeCroy for 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 128 

very full data about material in the American Museum of Natural History, New York ; 
and to Dr. G. F. Mees and Dr. R. Schodde for information and comment. 

References : 

Condon, H. T. 1975. Checklist of the Birds of Australia. Part 1, non-passerines. Royal 

Australasian Ornithologists Union. 
Frith, H. J. (Ed.) 1969. Birds in the Australian High Country. Sydney: A. H. & A. W. Reed. 
Gyldenstolpe, N. 1955. Birds collected by Dr. Sten Bergmann during his expedition to 

Dutch New Guinea 1948-1949. Arkiv Zool. 8: 183-397. 
Hall, B. P. (Ed.). 1974. Birds of the Harold Hall Australian expedition 1962-70. London: 

Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). 
Macdonald, J. D. 1973. Birds of Australia. London: Witherby. 
Mackay, R. D. 1970. The Birds of Port Moresby and District. Melbourne: Nelson. 
Mayr, E. & Short, L. L. 1970. Species Taxa of North American Birds. Publ. Nuttall Orn. 

Club. No. 9. 
Meyer, A. B. & Wiglesworth, L. L. 1898. The birds of Celebes and the neighbouring islands. 

Berlin: Friedlander. 
Paynter, R. A. 1963. Birds from Flores, Lesser Sunda Islands. Breviora. No 182. Mus. 

Comp. Zool. 
Peters, J. L. 1934. Check-list of birds of the World. 2. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press. 
Salvadori, T. 1882. Ornithologia della Papuasia e delle Molucche. 3. Torino. 
Serventy, D. L. & Whittell, H. M. 1967. Birds of Western Australia. Perth: Lamb Pubis. 
Slater, P. 1971. A Fieldguide to Australian birds. Non-passerines. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Stresemann, E. 1914. Die vogel von Seran. Novit. %pol. 21 : 25-153. 

Address: 2 Belvedere Court, Kingsway, Ansdell, Lytham-St. Annes, Lancashire, England. 

Haematozoa of British birds. L* Blood parasites of birds 
from Dumfries and Lincolnshire 

by M. A. Peine & C. J. Mead 

Received 26 July 1976 

Baker (1974) and Bennett et al. (1974), in reviewing the available data on the 
prevalence of blood parasites in British birds, showed that relatively few 
birds had been examined or parasites recorded. More recently Cheke et al. 
(1976) have published a list of the parasites obtained from a survey of birds 
in Hampshire and Yorkshire. To determine whether the low prevalence of 
haematozoa in British birds is a localised phenomenon or merely seasonal, 
birds have been examined in conjunction with the ringing programme of the 
British Trust for Ornithology, primarily at Tring, Hertfordshire. This paper 
reports similar observations from Lincolnshire and from Dumfries, Scotland. 

All the birds examined (Table 1) were caught in mist-nets during routine 
trapping for ringing purposes either at Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire (1-5 
September 1975), or at two sites in Dumfries — Strathmilligan and Waterside 
Mains in the Penpont area of Thornhill (27 July-4 August 1975). 530 birds 
were examined, of which 3 86 individuals of 23 species were from Lincolnshire 
and 144 of 23 species from Dumfries. 

Thin smears were made from blood taken from the tibial vein, air dried, 
fixed in pure methanol and subsequently stained with Giemsa's solution at a 
strength of 1:10 at pH 7-2 for one hour. Microscopical examination was 
carried out firstly under low power (Xio) and then under a X90 oil im- 
mersion objective for a more detailed morphological study. 

♦No. II in the series is appearing in/. Nat. Hist. 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 


Blood parasites found in birds from Dumfries, Scotland, and Lincolnshire, England. 

Dumfries Lincolnshire 

Examined/ infected 
Species H L Hg T H L Hg T 

Ringed Plover Cbaradrius biaticula 
Wryneck Jynx torquilla 
Swallow Hirundo rustica 
House Martin Delichon urbica 
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 
Pied Wagtail M. alba 
Meadow Pipit An thus pratensis 
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes 
Dunnock Prunella modularis 
Sedge Warbler Acrocepbalus 

Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus 
Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria 
Garden Warbler S. borin 
Blackcap S. atricapilla 
Whitethroat S. communis 
Lesser Whitethroat S. curruca 
Willow Warbler Pbylloscopus 

Goldcrest Regulus regulus 
Robin Erithacus rubecula 
Pied Flycatcher Ficedula bypoleuca 
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus 
Blackbird Turdus merula 
Song Thrush T. pbilomelos 
Willow Tit Par us montanus 
Coal Tit P. ater 
Blue Tit P. caeruleus 
Great Tit P. major 
Tree Creeper Certbiafamiliaris 
Reed Bunting Emberi-^a schoeniclus 
Goldfinch Cardeulis carduelis 
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs 
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula 
Linnet Acanthis cannabina 
Redpoll A. flammea 
Starling Sturnus vulgaris 


Examined/ infected 

H L 



- - 



5* - 



- - 






_ _ 



3 - 


I/O - - - - 

I/O - - - - 

131/23 1* 3* 10* 11* 

3/2 - - 2* - 
































30/10 4 5* I 1 

- 7* 







_ — _ 



- - - 



- 7 1* 

1 0/0 


_ _ _ 



_ _ _ 



_ _ _ 






- - - 



8 23 13 



= Trypanosoma 

TOTAL 144/49 IT 2 7 T 4 l 
H—Haemoproteus \^,—Leucocyto^pon Hg=Haemogregarines 

* Denotes a new British host record 


Of the 144 birds examined from Dumfries, 49 (34%) of 14 species were 
found infected with one or more parasites. The most common genus of 
parasite found was Leucocyto^oon, which occurred in 5 5 % of the infected 
birds. The following parasites were identified : — 

Leucocyto^oon. L. dubreuili in Song Thrush f (1), L. majoris in Great 
Tit (4), Blue Tit (7), Coal Tit (2) and Willow Tit (4), L. fringillinarum in 
Willow Warbler and Robin (7). 

|For scientific names see Table 1. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 130 

Haemoproteus . H. ori^ivorae in Dunnock (1), H.fringillae in Dunnock 
(1) and Chaffinch (2), and probably H. chelidonis in the House Martins (see 

Haemogregarines. Lankesterella spp. were observed in Goldcrest (3), 
Wren (1) and Willow Warbler (1), the remainder being of the Hepato^pon type. 

Mixed infections were seen in only four birds : — a haemogregarine and 
L. majoris in Coal Tit (2), L. majoris and Trypanosoma sp. in Willow Tit, and 
H. chelidonis and a haemogregarine in House Martin. 

From Gibraltar Point 50(12-9%) birds of 8 species were found to harbour 
one or more parasites, the most common being haemogregarines (46% of 
infected birds). Specific identification was possible for the following : — 

Haemogregarines. Most were of the Hepato^pon type, although 
Lankesterella sp. was identified in Swallow (2) and Willow Warbler (1). 

Leucocyto^pon fringillinarum in Willow Warbler (5) and Swallow (3). 

Haemoproteus. H. ori^ivorae in Willow Warbler (2), Garden Warbler 
(2), Blackcap (1) and Dunnock (1), H.fringillae in Willow Warbler (2). 

Trypanosomes in the Swallows were all considered to be Trypanosoma 
phedinae, and that in the Blue Tit, T. everetti. 

In addition to the records in Table 1, three birds, two Willow Warblers 
and one Whitethroat, were infected with a Rickettsia-like organism. 

Mixed infections were observed in only five birds ; H. ori^ivorae and 
Rickettsia in Willow Warbler, L. fringillinarum and Rickettsia in Willow 
Warbler, T. phedinae and Haemoproteus sp. in Swallow, T. phedinae and L. 
fringillinarum in Swallow and Trypanosoma sp. and a haemogregarine in 


The 34% infection rate in Dumfries was considerably higher than in 
Lincolnshire and also higher than the May peak found in Hampshire and 
Yorkshire, but comparable to that found in two areas in May and June in 
Berkshire and Sussex (Cheke et al. 1976). The infection rate at Gibraltar 
Point (12 -9%) was only slightly higher than that observed in 1972 (10%) 
when far fewer birds were examined (Bennett et al. 1974). The most prevalent 
parasites at Gibraltar Point were haemogregarines, and in Dumfries Leucocy- 
to^oon spp. 

One Robin from Dumfries showed a very light infection with L. fringil- 
linarum, but when re-trapped eight days later had a very high parasitaemia. 
This suggests that the bird, which had fledged during that current breeding 
season, had been infected towards the end of July. The absence of L. majoris 
from the Paridae caught at Gibraltar Point, when by comparison it was 
common in Dumfries, and the fact that the only birds infected with Leucocy- 
to^oon spp. were migrants, might suggest the absence of specific vectors in the 
Gibraltar Point area. 

The taxonomy of haemoproteids from the Hirundinidae is poorly under- 
stood. Coatney & Roudabush (1937) named H. prognei from one infected 
Purple Martin Progne subius from Nebraska. Their description and illustra- 
tions were excellent, particularly when compared with those of the two 
species described previously, H. chelidonis and H. hirundinis, and they con- 
cluded that H. prognei most closely resembled H. hirundinis, with only minor 
differences. This could be expected from examining only one infected bird. 
Because our own material consisted of light infections, we were unable to 

i 3 i [Bull.B.O.C. 1976:96(4)] 

identify conclusively the parasite in the Swallow as the same as that from the 
House Martins, and pending the availability of more material, we prefer to 
consider the parasite in the House Martins to be H. chelidonis, as originally 
described by Franchini (1922). Yakunin (1972) has recorded H. chelidonis 
from House Martin, Swallow and Sand Martin Riparia riparia, in Kazakhstan, 
although from only one specimen of each, out of 28, 450 and 138 birds of each 
species respectively — a very low incidence. Future work will probably 
determine whether any synonomy exists between the haemoproteids of the 
Hirundinidae, but that those of Swallows and House Martins may be host 
specific is suggested by the results of a study of the hippoboscid Crataerina 
birundinis. Summers (1975) concluded that C. hirundinis was generally host- 
specific for House Martins. It is quite probably the vector of H. chelidonis; 
so a similar situation might exist with the haemoproteids of Swallows and 
House Martins, as indeed it does with the Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus and 
the Rock Dove C. livia. In these, H. columbae and H. palumbis have morpho- 
logically similar erythrocytic stages, but are transmitted by different vectors 
and are host-specific (Baker 1967, 1975). 

The haemogregarines from Swallows and House Martins were morpho- 
logically indistinguishable from the Hepato-joon described from Cliff Swallows 
Petrochelidon pyrrhonota in California (Clark & Swinehart 1966), but we believe 
they probably represent a new species. 

The large number of Swallows examined was for a specific purpose. Peirce 
et al. (1976) described a new species of trypanosome T. phedinae from the 
Malagasy Swallow Phedina borbonica in Mauritius which closely resembled one 
illustrated by Oosthuizen & Markus (1967) from European Swallows in 
South Africa, some of which carried British rings (Markus pers. comm.). 
We aimed therefore to determine whether the parasites were the same and 
were being transmitted in Britain. Of the 1 1 birds found infected, six were 
identified as having been reared in Britain during the current breeding 
season, and therefore had become infected here, and we were able to show 
that the parasites were morphologically indistinguishable from T. phedinae. 
Whilst most birds are almost certainly infected in Britain, this does not 
preclude the possibility of reinfection or transmission to other birds on their 
wintering grounds in South Africa. 

One of the most interesting discoveries was that of a parasite resembling 
Trypanosoma everetti in a Blue Tit from Gibraltar Point. Hitherto, T. everetti 
has been recorded only from a few birds from mainland Africa and the 
Comoro Islands (Peirce & Cheke 1976). This present record suggests that the 
parasite has a far wider geographical distribution although probably depen- 
dent upon being brought to Britain by one of the trans- Saharan migrants. 
This being so, there must still be a vector here, capable of transmitting the 
parasite to other species. 

The results generally show that there is a wider variety of blood parasites 
in British birds than data from previous work would suggest. However, the 
incidence would appear to be dependent on the local availability of appro- 
priate vectors, rather than a strict seasonal occurrence of patency. 


A survey of blood parasites in birds was carried out in Lincolnshire, England, and in 
Dumfries, Scotland. 530 birds were examined of which 99 were found to be infected with 
one or more parasites. The following parasites were identified; Haemoproteus ori^ivorae, H. 
fringillae, H. chelidonis^ Leucocyto^pon majoris, L. dubreuili, L. fringillinarum \ Trypanosoma 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 132 

phedinae, T. everetti, Rickettsia and haemogregarines. Leucocyto-^pon ssp. were more prevalent 
in Dumfries, and haemogregarines in Lincolnshire. The results are discussed in relation to 
both geographical and seasonal occurrences, together with the taxonomic implications to 
some of the parasites observed. 

References : 

Baker, J. R. 1967. A review of the role played by the Hippoboscidae (Diptera) as vectors 
of endoparasites. /. Parasit. 53: 412-418. 

— 1974. Protozoan parasites of the blood of British wild birds and mammals. /. Zool. 
Lond. 172: 169-190. 

— 1975- Epizootiology of some haematozoic protozoa of English birds. /. nat. Hist. 9: 

Bennett, G. F., Mead, C. J. & Barnett, S. F. 1974. Blood parasites of birds handled for 

ringing in England and Wales. Ibis 117: 232-235. 
Cheke, R. A., Hassall, M. & Peirce, M. A. 1976. Blood parasites of British birds and notes 

on their seasonal occurrence at two rural sites in England./. Wildl. Dis. 12: 133-138. 
Clarke, G. W. & Swinehart, B. 1966. Blood parasitism in Cliff Swallows from the Sacra- 
mento Valley./. Protocol. 13: 395-397. 
Coatney, G. R. & Roudabush, R. L. 1937. Some blood parasites from Nebraska birds. 

Am. Midi. Nat. 18: 1005-1030. 
Franchini, G. 1922. Haemoproteus chelidonis chez l'hirondelle Chelidon urbica Linn. Stades 

probables de developpment chez la puce Ceratophyllus hirundinis. Bull. Soc. Path. 

Exot. 15 : 13-18. 
Oosthuizen, J. H. & Markus, M. B. 1967. Blood parasites of birds. Bokmakierie 19: 20-21. 
Peirce, M. A. & Cheke, A. S. 1977. Some blood parasites of birds from the Comoro Islands. 

/. Protocol. In press. 
Peirce, M. A., Cheke, A. S. & Cheke, R. A. 1977. Blood parasites of birds in the Mascarene 

Islands. Ibis in press. 
Summers, R. W. 1975. On the ecology of Crataerina hirundinis (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) in 

Scotland./. Zool. Lond. 175 : 557-570. 
Yakunin, M. P. 1972. Blood parasites of wild birds of South-East Kazakhstan. Trudy Inst. 

Zool. Akad. Nauk Kazakh, SSR. 33 : 69-79. (In Russian). 

Addresses: M. A. Peirce, 6 Barrie House, Hartland Road, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 iJT. 
C. J. Mead, British Trust for Ornithology, Tring, Herts HP23 5NR. 

The race of Sterna bergii in Kenya 
by P. L. Britton & T.O. Osborne 

Received 9 August 1976 

According to White (1965) and Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952) the race 
of the Swift Tern Sterna bergii occurring in Kenya is S. b. thalassina which 
breeds on the islands of the Western Indian Ocean, though Jackson (1938) 
listed Kenya birds as S. b. velox, which breeds in the Red Sea and northern 
Somalia. In view of the dark colouration of Kenya birds, and the fact that 
the few records available to them were from north of Mombasa, Britton & 
Brown (1974) considered it likely that Kenya birds were S. b. velox. On the 
other hand, recent breeding data from Latham Island, close to the Tanzania 
coast, no doubt refer to S. b. thalassina, as probably do all Tanzania records 
(Britton & Brown 1974). 

In three years residence on the Kenya coast, Britton & Britton (1976) 
have shown that S. bergii is far commoner than previously supposed. It is 
regular near Malindi, especially at the mouth of the Sabaki River, though 
south of this area there are only three recent sightings, all of single birds. 
The most southerly record is from Nyali (4 2' S) but this species is only 
regular in any numbers south to the Sabaki River at 3 9' S. It occurs in all 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

months of the year, but flocks of 20 or more (up to 180) are recorded only 
January-June. All birds seen by P.L.B. have the slate-grey mantle of S. b. 
velox, which breeds in northern Somalia August-September (Mackworth- 
Praed & Grant 1952). 

On 29 April 1976 two S. bergii were collected from a typical flock at the 
mouth of the Sabaki River. With the assistance of the curator, T.O.O. has 
compared these specimens with material in the National Museum, Nairobi 
(Table 1). Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952) give the wing-lengths of velox 



Measurements (mm) and weights (g) of Sterna bergii 

Date Wing to Skull Sex Weight Plumage 

Sabaki, Kenya 






near breeding S 






non-breeding S 

Bender Beila, 







non-breeding S 

Khormaksar, Aden 






breeding S 

Remire Is., 






non-breeding P 







breeding P 






non-breeding P 






sub-adult P 

Notes: S indicates mantle slate-grey, characteristic of S. b. velox. 

P indicates mantle very pale grey, characteristic of S. b. thalassina. 
Wing-lengths in brackets are of birds in almost completed moult, and the measure- 
ments refer to the second long primary. 
The bill of only 51-6 mm has a worn tip. 

as 337-377 mm and thalassina as 318-348 mm. In mantle colouration the 
Sabaki birds are indistinguishable from the Aden and Somalia birds, and all 
three fully moulted wings from these darker mantled birds fall within the 
range of velox and outside the range of thalassina. One of the Amirantes, pale 
mantled, birds has a long wing, outside the range given for thalassina. Birds 
with growing primaries can be recognised by the primary tips being silver- 
grey rather than black or blackish; on the other hand the Aden bird and 
long-winged Amirantes bird have fresh, apparently complete primaries 
though with this same silver-grey tip, and may not have attained full growth. 
Bill measurements are perhaps more reliable in this small series. Mean bill- 
length for the four velox is 65-2 mm against 56-8 mm for the three reliable 
thalassina, a significant difference ( P <o-oo2, /-test). Female bills may be 
smaller than male bills, and these small samples include both sexes, so that 
it is probably unreasonable to assume that distributions are normal. But we 
have little doubt that larger samples, analysed by sex, would show a signifi- 
cant difference in bill length-between the two races, possibly without overlap. 
Jackson (1938) implies that he collected S. bergii near Mombasa at Kanamai 
(3 55' S), but there is no African specimen in the British Museum (Nat. 
Hist.) where many of Jackson's specimens are held (P. R. Colston in litt.), so 
that the two specimens from Sabaki may be the first from Kenya. Thus the 
non-breeding range of S. b. velox extends substantially south from its breeding 
ground sin the Red Sea and northern Somalia, though S. bergii may in fact 
breed much closer to Kenya than northern Somalia, as displaying pairs were 
recorded at Brava in southern Somalia (i° N) by North (1945), a reference 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 134 

seemingly overlooked by more recent authors. There is a dearth of suitable 
tern and wader habitat on the Kenya coast south of the Sabaki River mouth 
and nearby Mida Creek, and these latter areas probably therefore form the 
southern limit for S. b. velox, as they probably also do for non-breeding 
Caspian Terns Sterna caspia, Gull-billed Terns S. nilotica and Broad-billed 
Sandpipers Limicola falcinellus (Britton & Britton 1976). Thus it would seem 
that the non-breeding ranges, as well as the breeding ranges, of S. b. velox and 
S. b. thalassina may be considered discrete in eastern Africa. 

In the Seychelles archipelago, to the east of Kenya at about 4 S, S. b. 
thalassina is widespread in all months, and has frequently been seen feeding 
flying young, though nests have not been found (A. W. Diamond in lift.), 
and such records do not necessarily imply recent breeding or breeding in the 
near vicinity (Feare 1975). It is known to nest on the geographically close 
Amirantes archipelago, politically a part of Seychelles (Diamond in litt.). 
Feare's sight record of a dark-backed S. bergii from Bird Island in the Sey- 
chelles archipelago at 3 43' S on 11 September 1973 is noteworthy. This 
dark bird was most probably S, b. velox as the occurrence of the southern 
breeding S. b. bergii, which is darker mantled than thalassina but paler than 
velox, in Seychelles is unlikely (White 1965). S. b. velox can be no more than 
a vagrant in Seychelles, and it may similarly reach Tanzania very occasionally. 

References : 

Britton, P. & Britton, H. 1976. Records Section (Birds). E. Afr. nat. Hist. Soc. Bull. 1976: 

Britton, P. L. & Brown, L. H. 1974. The status and breeding behaviour of East African 

Lari. Ostrich 45: 63-82. 
Feare, C. J. 1975. Post-fledging parental care in Crested and Sooty Terns. Condor jj: 368— 

Jackson, F. J. 1938. The Birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate. London: Gurney & 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern 

Africa, vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green & Co. 
North, M. E. W. 1945. Notes on the sea-birds of Brava.//. E. Afr. nat. Hist. Soc. 81 & 82: 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check List of African Non-Passerine Birds. Lusaka: Govt. 


Address: Box 90163, Mombasa, Kenya. 

The nest and eggs of Tauraco fischceri 
by P. L. Britton & H. A. Britton 

Received 9 August 1976 
Despite their bright colouration, distinctive voice and fairly large size, forest 
turacos are difficult to observe, and much remains to be learnt of their 
breeding behaviour. The nests of all Musophagidae studied are flat, flimsy 
structures of twigs, like those of the Columbidae, with two eggs that are 
white or tinted (Moreau 1964). Tauraco fischeri occurs not uncommonly in 
coastal forest, thicket and woodland from Tanga and the lowlands of 
Usambara in Tanzania to the Juba River in Somalia (White 1965), but its 
nest and eggs are apparently undescribed. 

On 1 June 1976, Mr. John Shaw informed us that a few days previously 
he had seen a T. fischeri taking a stick into the canopy of a Msambarau 
Sy^ygium cumini tree in his garden at Shimo-la-Tewa School, Mombasa, 

135 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

Kenya. It was not possible to see any nest in the thick foliage of this large 
tree, but it seemed likely that the bird was building a nest. H. A.B. visited the 
site on 4 June. No bird or nest could be seen in this tree but a T.fischeri in a 
nearby Msambarau called several times from thick foliage. Subsequent visits 
were made but no bird was seen. Exceptionally heavy rain followed in mid 
June, making the tree too slippery to climb, and although many leaves fell 
during this wet period, it was still not possible to see any nest. A student at 
the school, James Kalume, eventually climbed the tree on 22 June, and in 
the part of the canopy where the bird was seen in late May, at 7 • 5 m above 
the ground, he found a stick nest which he described as a loose platform of 
twigs. There was no lining or other material in the nest, and it was not taken 
as it could only be removed in pieces. It contained a single egg, in danger of 
falling from the nest, and it is possible that a second egg had fallen earlier. 
Although the evidence is circumstantial, there is no doubt in our minds that 
this was the nest and egg of T. fischeri, which is the only musophagid oc- 
curring at this locality. 

When collected the egg was off-white with ill-defined but extensive pale 
blue-grey underlying areas ; but one month later it is now rather grey overall. 
It is virtually spherical, measuring 36-1 x 34-6 mm, and weighed 22-6 g, 
or 8-1 1 % of body weight (see Britton 1970, Moreau 1944). It was taken for 
the National Museum, Nairobi, and when blown it was found to have 
started to decompose. The yolk was rich orange in colour, as in the closely 
related T. livingstonii (Mackworth-Praed & Grant 1952). Incubation was very 
slight, but the egg had evidently been abandoned for several days, so that 
it was probably laid in early June. A bird was probably incubating or laying 
when the site was visited on 4 June. 

Van Someren (1932) found this species nesting on the Kenya coast in 
June, but no details are given of his record, which has not been incorporated 
by later authors. A specimen from Sokoke, Kenya, in the National Museum 
had enlarged ovaries in May. Coastal Kenya has an April-June rainfall 
regime, so that breeding is apparently in the wettest months ; northeastern 
and coastal Tanzania on the other hand has long rains March-May and short 
rains November-December (Griffiths 1958). Mackworth-Praed & Grant 
(1952) mention young just out of the nest in Tanzania in October and March, 
and there is a female in the National Museum which had active gonads when 
taken in December at Amani. At Arusha, in northeastern Tanzania, seven 
out of eight breeding records of T. hartlaubi are between August and January 
(Beesley 1973), and a similar period, straddling the short rains, is the likely 
pattern in T. fischeri in the same climatic zone. 

The almost spherical eggs of Musophagidae, Strigidae and Alcedinidae 
are mentioned by Lack (1968), and an egg of Musophaga rossae is used to 
illustrate eggs of this shape (Hughes 1964). T.fischeri, T. persa, T. schutti, T. 
livingstonii and T. corythaix are considered members of a superspecies by 
White (1965), but egg shape is curiously variable within this superspecies. 
The eggs (mm) of T. livingstonii (40 x 34), T. corythaix (38 x 32) and T. 
schutti* (37 x 30) are somewhat oval, as are two eggs of T.persa (37 X 29), 

* The T. schutti data probably include the two eggs collected by the late Capt. C. R. S. 
Pitman in Bugoma Forest, Uganda on 24 May 1944, measuring 37-3 X 29-8 and 36 • 1 x 
30-3 mm. As far as we are aware, exact measurements of eggs of this species have not 
been previously published. They were supplied to H.A.B. by Capt. Pitman (in lift.) to 
be copied onto E.A.N.H.S. nest record cards. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 136 

though T. persa eggs are typically more spherical (36 x 33) (data from 
Mackworth-Praed & Grant 1952, 1970) and very close in shape to that of 
T. fischeri. 

We are grateful to John Shaw and James Kalume for their invaluable assistance in 
finding this nest. 

References : 

Beesley, J. S. S. 1973. The breeding seasons of birds in the Arusha National Park, Tanzania. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 10-20. 
Britton, P. L. 1970. Some non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 142-144, 152-154. 
Griffiths, J. F. 1958. Climatic zones of East Africa. E. Afr. agric. J. 1958: 179-185. 
Hughes, A. M. 1964. Illustration of examples of outlines of eggs in Thomson, A. L. (Ed.) 

A New Dictionary of Birds, p. 239. London: Nelson. 
Lack, D. 1968. Ecological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds . London: Methuen. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern 

Africa. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green & Co. 

— 1970. Birds of West Central and Western Africa. Vol. 1. London: Longmans. 
Moreau, R. E. 1944. Some weights of African and of wintering Palaearctic birds. Ibis 86: 


— 1964. Article "Turaco" in Thomson, A. L. (Ed.) A New Dictionary of Birds, pp. 842- 
844. London: Nelson. 

Van Someren, V. G. L. 1932. Birds of Kenya and Uganda, being addenda and corrigenda 
to my previous paper in Novitates Zoologicae 29 (1922). Novit Zool. 37: 252-380. 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check List of African Non-Passerine Birds. Lusaka: Govt. 

Address: Box 90163, Mombasa, Kenya. 

New subspecies of Schi^oeaca fuliginosa and 
Uromyias agraphia from Peru 

by John P. O'Neill & Theodore A. Parker, III 

Received 22 fune 1976 

The Cordillera Carpish is a high mountain massif located (9 40' S, 76 4' W) 
between the towns of Huanuco and Tingo Maria in the Departamento de 
Huanuco of Peru. Its western slopes are under the influence of a rain shadow 
and are quite arid, but the eastern slopes above c 2060 m are covered with 
luxuriant cloud forest (for details see Tallman 1974). From the vicinity of the 
Carpish Tunnel, where the Carretera Central crosses the range at c 2740 m, 
one gets no idea that the highest peaks both northwest and southeast of there 
rise above timberline and provide habitat for many species of birds that would 
not otherwise be found in the region; such birds as Ampelion [Doliornis] 
sclateri, Hemispingus rufosuperciliaris, Notiochelidon flavipes, Nephelornis oneilli 
Iridosornis /elskii, Uromyias agraphia, and Schi^oeaca fuliginosa were found to 
be not uncommon. 

In 1973, during studies in these areas by a field party from the Louisiana 
State University Museum of Zoology, we obtained a series of the White- 
chinned Thistletail Schi^oeaca fuliginosa. 

The Carpish population of S. fuliginosa proved to be a well-marked race 
that we propose to call 

137 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

Schiyoeaca fuliginosa plengei subsp. nov. 

Type: Adult male, collected on 23 June 1973 by Erika J. Tallman at Bosque 
Taprag above (NE) Acomayo, Departamento de Huanuco, Peru, elevation 
c 3350 m. No. 74008, Louisiana State University Museum of Zoology. (Dan 
A. Tallman original number 1328.) 

Description: Differs from all known forms of Schi^oeaca fuliginosa by 
possessing a white superciliary stripe and by having the feathers of the throat, 
malar region, breast, and belly marked with moderate to strong white shaft 

Measurements of type {mm): Wing (chord) 58-2, tail 105-7, tarsus 25-4, 
culmen from base 16-4. 

Range: So far as known, north and west of the Huallaga River in the 
Carpish massif of the eastern Andes of Peru in the Departamento de Huanuco ; 
recorded from suitable habitats both northwest and southeast of Carpish 

Specimens examined: Schi^peacaf. fuliginosa (6). Venezuela: Paramo de Tama, 
1^, 1$ (AMNH 811984-985). Ecuador: Cerro Huamani, 1$ 1^, (AMNH 
176074 and 180296); Oyacachi, 1^ (AMNH 180295); Sumaco, i<J (AMNH 

S.f peruviana (11). Peru: Atuen, 2&J, 4$$ (ANSP 1 15322, 115324-328); 
Llui, 1$, 1 sex ? (ANSP 117508-509); Bagazan, 1$ (ANSP 1 175 10); km 404 
on Balsas-Leymebamba rd., ig (LSUMZ 80507); 25 km W Leymebamba, 1$ 
(MVZ 156484). 

S.f. plengei (14). Peru: Bosque Cutirragra, 1^ (LSUMZ 74007); Bosque 
Taprag, i<J (LSUMZ 74008, type); Bosque Magrapampa, i$, i<j (LSUMZ 
74009-010); Huaylaspampa, 1^ (LSUMZ 7401 1); Bosque Zapatagocha, 1 
sex ?, 1$ (LSUMZ 75209-210); Bosque Quiullacocha, 1 sex ? (LSUMZ 
79684); Unchog, 5^, 1$ (LSUMZ 80501-506). 

S.f.griseomurina (1). Peru : Huancabamba, road to San Ignacio, 1^ (FMNH 

Remarks: Not uncommon in the pajonal just above timberline. As used in 
Peru, the term pajonal refers to a wet, sometimes boggy area above timber- 
line that contains a mixture of grasses, scattered bushes, tree ferns, and, in 
some areas such as in the Carpish mountains, clumps of terrestrial bromeliads. 
We take great pleasure in naming this new form for Manuel A. Plenge, 
both in recognition of his contributions to Peruvian ornithology and in 
appreciation of the friendship and courtesies he has extended to ornitholo- 
gists from all over the world who have come to his home in search of 
information concerning Peru's avifauna. 

The populations oi S chigoe ac a fuliginosa are divisible into two main groups, 
a rufous- or buff-chinned one and a white-chinned one. The new form is 
white-chinned. As stated by Vaurie et al. (1972) populations of S '. fuliginosa 
do not vary greatly in size, and we found this true of all four of the white- 
chinned forms. We were fortunate in having recently-collected specimens of 
all forms of S. fuliginosa except S. f. vilcabambae available to us for making 
colour comparisons. Material collected 40 to 50 years ago cannot safely be 
used in making colour determinations, though basic differences in patterns 
are still clearly evident. Thus the subterminal dusky markings on the belly 
feathers and the pale shaft streaks on the throat feathers of S. f peruviana, 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 


characters not mentioned by Cory (19 16) when he described that race, nor 
by Carriker (1933) when he gave reasons for rejecting it, are discernible in 
all specimens examined regardless of their museum age. The ventral markings 
are least pronounced in S.f. fuliginosa and S.f. griseomurina, both of which are 
essentially grey below. S. f. plengei, the southernmost of the white-chinned 
races, has underparts that appear lightly streaked due to the presence of 
white shaft markings, and S.f. peruviana, to which the new race is most closely 
related, has mottled underparts. S. f palpebralis, the northernmost of the 
rufous-chinned races, and the one that is found just south of S.f. plengei, is 
plain grey below. S.f.palpebralis and S.f. griseomurina further differ from all 
the other races by possessing large, striking white eye-rings and by the near 


Comparisons of colours of recently collected specimens of the four 
white-chinned races of Schi^oeaca fuliginosa 

S. f. fuliginosa 

S. f. peruviana 

S. f. plengei 

S. f griseomurina 

Dorsal colour 

burnt umber 

burnt umber 

burnt umber 





white, some 




Chin colour 





Throat colour 

grey, obscure 
white shaft 

grey, strong 
white shaft 

whitish, narrow 
grey edging 

grey, unmarked 

Breast colour 





Belly colour 


grey, feathers 
with subterminal 
darker spot and 
tipped greyish 

grey, feathers 
with white 
shaft streak 
and white tip 

grey, slightly paler 
than breast 

Flank colour 





Rufous on 
primary 2, 3 

little, not 
reaching shaft 

strong, reaching 

strong, reaching 

lacking, mouse- 
brown instead 

absence of a superciliary line. S.f. griseomurina stands alone among the white- 
chinned forms in its plainness. The presence of a form in both the white- 
chinned and the rufous-chinned groups that is essentially unmarked below 
and which possesses a striking white eye-ring is a matter of considerable 
interest, but we have no explanation to account for the significance of this 

Schi^oeaca is not recorded between the Huanuco localities north and west 
of the Huallaga River south to Hda. Maraynioc in central Junin, where the 
rufous-chinned, eye-ringed, form S.f. palpebralis occurs. The canyon of the 
Huallaga cuts a major swath through the mountains of central Huanuco, and 
the canyon of this river may form the boundary between the northern 
white-chinned group and the southern, rufous- or buff-chinned complex. 
Mountain areas to the west that attain elevations suitable for Schi^oeaca are 
too dry for them; to the the east the Carpish massif drops off into lowlands 

139 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

that are also unsuitable for Schi^oeaca. In Peru thistletails seem to be found 
only over 3050 m in the wet pajonales of the eastern Andes, and are inhabi- 
tants of thick, often mossy or grass-choked vegetation, where they creep 
about in search of food. They rarely fly and may not be capable of long dis- 
tance flights, and thus show mountain "island" distributional and evo- 
lutionary patterns. Because of the paucity of Schi^oeaca habitat in the vicinity 
of the "Northern Peruvian low'* (see Vuilleumier 1968) we are sure that 
neither of the two forms found north of the "low", S. f. fuliginosa and S.f. 
griseomurina, make contact with S.f. peruviana, the form found south of this 
unsuitable area. The two northern forms may make contact with each other, 
but there is presently no indication that they do so ; there is no information 
about the degree of continuity of suitable habitat in the vast area intervening 


Selected measurements in millimeters of the four white-chinned 
races of Schi-^peaca fuliginosa 







males females 



S. f fuliginosa 

n= 4 


n=4 n=2 

n= 3 




24-1-25-2 22-8-23-0 

15 -6-i6- 5 


(60 - 9 ) 


(24-8) (22-9) 
S. f. peruviana 





n=5 n=6 





25-1-25-7 22-1-24-8 



(61 - 4 ) 


(25-4) (23-8) 
S. f plengei 




n= 3 

n=9 n=3 





24*0-26-2 23-3-25*0 





(24-9) (24-1) 
S. f. griseomurina 

(i6- 6) 




n=i n=i* 





25-9 25-5 



* measurement supplied by E. R. Blake, in lift. 

between the known ranges of S. f. plengei and S. f. peruviana to indicate 
whether they are sympatric or separate. 

E. R. Blake of the Field Museum, Chicago, has called to our attention 
(pers. comm.) two Peruvian specimens of S '. f. griseomurina in that collection. 
This subspecies is known from southern Ecuador, but has not previously 
been reported from Peru (Meyer de Schauensee 1970, treated therein as a full 
species). They were taken by Celestino Kalinowski "on the road to San 
Ignacio, Km 30, 3000 m [above] Huancabamba, Department of Piura". The 
two specimens are a male, taken on 22 May 1954 (FMNH 222320), and a 
female, taken on 20 May 1954 (FMNH 2223 19). We examined only the male. 

Vaurie's (1971) decision to place all forms of the genus (sensu strictd) into 
a single polytypic species may later prove to be incorrect. Most of the forms 
will probably prove to be allopatric and for this reason few opportunities 
will be provided for testing whether they are capable of interbreeding, but the 
possibility should be kept in mind by field workers. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 140 

In the Carpish area of Huanuco and in the Ollantaitambo-Quillabamba 
area in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Departamento de Cuzco, we also obtained 
five specimens of the poorly-known Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant Uromyias 
agraphia. The three specimens from the Carpish massif not only extend the 
range of the species ^550 km to the north-northwest, but they are recognizably 
distinct from those of the southern population. We propose to call them 

Uromyias agraphia squamigera subsp. nov. 

Type: Adult male, collected on 21 July 1973 by Erika J. Tallman at Bosque 
Cutirragra, south of Huaylaspampa, Departamento de Huanuco, Peru, 
elevation c 2775 m. No. 74301, Louisiana State University Museum of 
Zoology. (Dan A. Tallman original number 1552.) 

Description: Differs from U. a. agraphia by having the feathers of the breast 
both edged and prominently tipped with white, instead of only edged with 
white, to form scalelike markings. 

Measurements of type {mm): Wing (chord) 57-9, tail 68-5, tarsus 19-3, 
culmen from base 13-7. 

Range: Known from timberline forest and elfin-woods of the Cordillera 
Carpish, Departamento de Huanuco, Peru. 

Specimens examined: Uromyias agilis (3). Colombia : La Victoria, i"J (FMNH 
292223); Florente, 2^ (FMNH 292222 and 292226). 

U. agraphia agraphia (2). Peru: 24 km NE Abra Malaga, 1$ juv. (LSUMZ 
78796); San Luis, 1$ (LSUMZ 78797). . 

Ui a. squamigera (3). Peru: Bosque Cutirragra, Iq* (LSUMZ 74301); Punta 
de Esperanza, 1$ (LSUMZ 79704); Carpish [=Carpish Tunnel], 1^ (MVZ 

Remarks: The name squamigera is used in reference to the scaly effect 
created by the white tips on the breast feathers. Although Uromyias agraphia 
has only been reported from three areas, we suspect that it will eventually be 
found to inhabit suitable areas between Huanuco and Cuzco and that it may 
range south to central Bolivia. 

It forages in groups of two or three up to a half dozen individuals, unusual 
for tyrannids. That there is no literature about the Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant 
except a description of the type specimen is amazing as the species is common 
both in the Cordillera Carpish and on the northeast side of the pass between 
Ollantaitambo and Quillabamba in the Cordillera Vilcanota. We never saw 
them hang upside down, but they forage restlessly and nervously, preferring 
open or semi-open areas, especially where tangles and thickets with Chusquea 
bamboo occur. Most food seems to be obtained by picking and gleaning. 
Flycatching, in the strict sense, is uncommon. Uromyias agraphia is mainly a 
bird of timberline vegetation, but we have seen it at the edge of cloud forest 
clearings as low as 2740 m. 

Birds from the Carpish region are nearly identical in size to those from the 
Departamento de Cuzco. Two of the three U. a. squamigera are much paler 
yellow, and the third slightly paler yellow below than are the two U. a. 
agraphia in the LSUMZ collection. Examination (J.P.O'N) of the type of the 
species, collected at Idma near Santa Ana (Hda. Santa Ana=present-day 
town of Quillabamba) by Edmund Heller and described by Chapman (1919) 
showed it to be essentially identical to the LSUMZ specimens taken in the 
same range c 120 km to the south-southeast. 

141 [Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

When we first initiated this study we were of the opinion that U. agraphia 
might be nothing more than the southern representative of U. agi/is, but 
Melvin A. Traylor of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, has 
informed us (in lift.) of why he believes that the two are not conspecific. 
Some of the differences are a matter of degree, such as the heavier ventral 
streaking and brighter yellow breast of agi/is, but other characters are quite 
distinct: agi/is has the back streaked, agraphia does not; agi/is has a pale base 
to the mandible, agraphia does not; agi/is has black lores and a white super- 
ciliary stripe that goes from the region of the nares to the distal tip of the 
black crest, but in agraphia the superciliary stripe and the lores are mottled 
grey and white and the stripe terminates just posterior to the eye; agi/is has 
the tertials and inner primaries broadly edged with buffy white, but in 
agraphia the edging is olive and not obvious. One of the most striking 
differences is that the Juvenal plumage of agi/is exhibits two distinct buffy 
wing bars, while the juvenal plumage of agraphia (LSUMZ 78796 with skull 
20% ossified) lacks any trace of wing bars. A further hint is that the popu- 
lation of agraphia geographically nearest to agi/is, namely the Carpish popu- 
lation with their scalloped breasts, is the most distinct phenetically. We thus 
agree with Traylor that the two are best treated as separate species until 
proven otherwise. 

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the LSUMZ Peruvian field work by 
John S. Mcllhenny of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in 1975 also by John F. Maher of 
Houston, Texas. O'Neill gratefully acknowledges a grant in 1975 from the Frank M. Chap- 
man Memorial Fund. We are also grateful to the following for the loan of specimens: 
E. R. Blake and Melvin A. Traylor (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago=FMNH), 
Frank B. Gill (Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia=ANSP), Ned K. Johnson 
(Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley =MVZ), Wesley E. Lanyon and John Farrand, 
jr. (American Museum of Natural History, New York = AMNH). We thank Marc Douro- 
jeanni R., Carlos Ponce P., and Antonio Brack E. of the Direccion General Forestal y de 
Fauna, Ministerio de Agricultura, Lima, Peru, for their continued interest in our work and 
for the issuance of neccessary permits. Ramon Ferreyra and Hernando de Macedo (Museo 
de Historia Natural "Javier Prado" in Lima) have helped us in many ways. Robert S. 
Kennedy, Carol S. O'Neill, Ronald J. Louque, and Dan A. and Erika J. Tallman were all 
involved in the field work. Lastly we express our appreciation to George H. Lowery, Jr., 
under whose direction the Peruvian field work of the Louisiana State University Museum of 
Zoology (LSUMZ) has been carried out. 

References : 

Carriker, M. A. 1933. Descriptions of new birds from Peru, with notes on other little- 
known species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Set. Philadelphia 85: 1-38. 

Chapman, F. M. 1919. Descriptions of proposed new birds from Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and 
Colombia. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 32: 253-268. 

Cory, C. B. 191 6. Descriptions of apparently new South American birds, with notes on 
some little known species. Field Mas. Nat. Hist., Ornith. Series 1 : 337-346. 

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1970. A Guide to the Birds of South America. Wynnewood, Penn- 
sylvania, Livingston Publ. Co. 

Tallman, D. A. 1974. Colonization of a semi-isolated temperate cloud forest: preliminary 
interpretation of distributional patterns of birds in the Carpish region of the Depart- 
ment of Huanuco, Peru. Unpublished MSc. thesis, Louisiana State University. 

Vaurie, C. 1971. Classification of the Ovenbirds {Furnariidae). London, H. F. & G. Witherby. 

Vaurie, C, Weske, J. S. & Terborgh, J. W. 1972. Taxonomy of Schi^peaca fuliginosa (Fur- 
nariidae) with description of two new subspecies. Bull. Brit. Orn. Club 92: 142-144. 

Vuilleumier, F. 1968. Population structure of the Asthenes flammulata superspecies (Aves: 
Furnariidae). Breviora No. 297: 1-2 1. 

Address: Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70893, 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)3 142 

Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature : 
Opinions and Directions 

In continuation of Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95, 1975 : 176, and by permission of the 
International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, the following Rulings are 
quoted as extracts from Opinions and Directions published in Bull. Zool. 
Nomencl. affecting birds : 


{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 32(2), 1975 : 103) 

Curruca affinis Blyth, 1845 (Aves) suppressed under the plenary powers — 

(1) Under the plenary powers the specific name affinis Blyth, 1845, as 
published in the binomen Curruca affinis is hereby suppressed for the pur- 
poses of the Law of Priority but not for those of the Law of Homonymy. 

(2) The following names are hereby placed on the Official List of Specific 
Names in Zoology with the Name Numbers specified : 

(a) althaea Hume, 1878, as published in the binomen Sylvia althaea 
(Name No. 2546); 

(b) blythi Ticehurst and Whistler, 1933, as published in the combina- 
tion Sylvia curruca blythi^ and interpreted by reference to the British 
Museum specimen No. 98.9.101 (Name No. 2547). 

(3) The specific name affinis Blyth, 1845, as published in the binomen 
Curruca affinis (as suppressed under the plenary powers in (1) above) is 
hereby placed on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Specific Names in 
Zoology with the Name Number 1003. 


{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 32(4), 1976: 222) 

Drepanididae Cabanis, 1847 (Aves) and Drepaneidae Gill, 1847 (Pisces): 
placed on Official List of Family-Group Names in Zoology — 

(1) The request to use the plenary powers to protect Name No. 306 on the 
Official List of Family-Group Names in Zoology (i.e. Drepanididae Gadow, 
1 891) is refused. 

(2) Under the plenary powers it is ruled that the stem of the generic name 
Drepane Cuvier, 1831 (Pisces) for the purposes of Article 29 is Drepane-. 

(3) The generic name Drepane Cuvier, 1831 (gender: feminine), type- 
species of nominal genus, by subsequent designation by Jordan, 191 7, 
Chaetodon punctatus Linnaeus, 1758, is hereby placed on the Official List of 
Generic Names in Zoology (Name Number 2020). 

(4) The specific name punctatus Linnaeus, 175 8, as published in the binomen 
Chaetodon punctatus (specific name of type-series of Drepane Cuvier, 1831) is 
hereby placed on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology (Name 
Number 2562). 

143 [Bull- B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 

(5) The following family-group names are placed on the Official List of 
Family-Group Names in Zoology: 

(a) Drepanididae Cabanis, 1847 (Aves) (correction, as a consequence 
of the Ruling given in (1) above, of entry No. 306 in the Official List 
of Family-Group Names in Zoology) (type genus Drepanis Temminck 
1820), (Name Number 306). 

(b) Drepaneidae Gill, 1872 (Pisces) (type-genus Drepane Cuvier, 
1 831) (Name Number 479). 

(6) The following generic names are hereby placed on the Official Index 
of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology: 

(a) Drepanichthys Bonaparte, 183 1 (Name Number 206$), 

(b) Enixe Gistl, 1848 (Name Number 2066), and 

(c) Harpochris Cantor, 1849 (Name Number 2067), all being junior 
objective synonyms of Drepane Cuvier, 1831. 

(7) The following family-group names are hereby placed on the Official 
Index of Rejected and Invalid Family-Group Names in Zoology : 

(a) Drepaninae Cabanis, 1847 (an incorrect original spelling of 
Drepanididae Cabanis, 1847) (Name Number 467); 

(b) Drepanidae Bonaparte, 1853 (an incorrect subsequent spelling of 
Drepanididae Cabanis, 1847) (Name Number 468); 

(c) Drepanididae Gadow, 1891 (determined through the Ruling in (1) 
above to be a subsequent usage of Drepanididae Cabanis, 1847) 
(Name Number 469); 

(d) Drepanidae Gill, 1872 (determined through the Ruling given 
under the plenary powers in (2) above to be an incorrect original 
spelling of Drepaneidae Gill, 1872) (Name Number 470). 

[It is to be noted that names (a), (b) and (d) under (7) in the above Ruling 
are not only homonyms among themselves, but are all also junior homonyms 
of Drepanidae Boisduval, [Nov. 1828] (Lepidoptera) (Name No. 307 on the 
Official List of Family Group-Names in Zoology).] 


{Bull. Zoo 1. No mend. 32(4), 1976: 248) 

Correction of author and date for Loriidae (Aves) (Official List of Family- 
Group Names in Zoology. Name Number 457) — 

It is hereby directed that entry No. 457 placed on, the Official List of 
Family-Group Names in Zoology by the Ruling given in Opinion 938 is to 
be amended to read as follows : 

Loriidae (correction of Loriana and Lorianae) Selby, 1836, Parrots, in 
the Naturalist's Library, Ornithology, 6: 57, 141, 142 (type-genus 
Lorius Vigors, 1825) (Class Aves). 

[The Ruling in Opinion 938 quoted in the Direction 107 above, was repro- 
duced in Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 91, 1971 : 1 16 — Ed.] 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1976: 96(4)] 144 


Specimens of Neodrepanis hypoxantha in Dresden 

I drew attention {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94(4), 1974: 141-143) to a specimen of 
N. hypoxantha, in the Merseyside County Museums, bringing the then recog- 
nised total of specimens up to eleven. However, I overlooked the note by 
Eck {Zool. Abh. st. Mus. Tierk., Dresden 29(16), 1968: 229-230), who 
recorded two specimens in the Staatlichen Museum fur Tierkunde, Dresden. 
The first of these is the "one more adult male in another German museum" 
among the nine specimens accounted for by Salomonsen (Oiseau et R.f. O. 
35, no. spec, 1965 : 108). Collected by J. M. Hildebrant at Andrangoloaka, 
central Madagascar, in November 1880, it was evidently close to breeding, 
since it had bare skin around the eye, bronze-green encircled by beryl-blue. 
The second specimen in Dresden was also obtained by Hildebrandt, in June 
1880, and is said to be a juvenile male, the bill weaker and shorter than in the 
adult. This juvenile therefore brings the total number of known specimens of 
N. hypoxantha up to twelve. 

24 August 1976 C. W. Benson 

f v,' ' \ 

Address: Dept. of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge. 


Ferguson-Lees, J., Hockliffe, Q. & Zweers, K. 1975. A Guide to Bird- 
Watching in Europe. Pp. 298, 22 maps, 36 pp. of tables, black and white 
drawings. London: Bodley Head. £3 • 95 . 

Covers 25 areas, so generally and briefly for some as to be hardly more than 
a useful list of birds and place names. 

Scott, Bob & Forrest, Don. 1976. The Birdwatcher s Key. Pp. 271, fully 
illustrated in colour. London: Warne. £2-25. 

Covers 382 species in the British Isles and N.W. Europe. 

Ridgely, R. S. 1976. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Pp. xv -f 394, 32 colour 
plates of nearly 500 species and black and white drawings by J. A. Gwynne, 
Jr. Princeton: Princeton University Press. £10-50. Sponsored by the 
International Council for Bird Preservation. 

A very nicely produced, well illustrated volume, with a brief introduction 
to climate, migration and conservation, followed by a text on the over 880 
species of this important junction of two zoogeographical regions, giving 
description, confusable similar species, status and distribution, habits and 


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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road Sevenoaks Kent. 


of the 



Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 97 

price: four pounds fifty pence 


The Editor is glad to be able to thank Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Benson for their continued 
goodwill and diligence in preparing the lists, index and corrigenda for this volume. Mr. 
Benson has also once more been to much trouble to extract the relevent matter from 
the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, with the kind permission of the International 
Trust for Zoological Nomenclature. 

The Club continues to be fortunate in the punctual publication of the Bulletin each 
quarter, due in no small part to the efficiency of Mr. K. E. Wiltsher and his staff at the 
Caxton and Holmesdale Press. 




Prof. J. H. Elgood, Chairman (1974) 

P. Hogg, Vice-Chairman (1974) 

Dr. J. F. Monk, Editor (1976) 

R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1971) 

M. St. J. Sugg, Hon. Treasurer (1974) 

Dr. G. Beven (1976) 

Mrs. J. D. Bradley (1975) 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison (1974) 

C. E. Wheeler (1975) 


P. Hogg, Chairman (1977) 

Dr. G. Beven, Vice-Chairman (1977) 

Dr. J. F. Monk, Editor (1976) 

R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1971) 

M. St. J. Sugg, Hon. Treasurer (1974) 

Mrs. J. D. Bradley (1975) 

C. E. Wheeler (1975) 

B. Gray (1977) 

C. F. Mann (1977) 

(Compiled by the Hon. Treasurer) 

New Members 

Armitage, J. S., 39 Bly Road, Darfield, Barnsley, South Yorkshire. 

Ash, Dr. J. S., ph.d., National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington D.C. 20560, U.S.A. 

Beales, R. W.,, P.O. Box 2161, Bandar Seri, Begawan, Brunei. 

Biber, J. -P., Culterty Field Station, Newburgh, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB4 OAA. 

Carswell, Dr. M., Dept. of Surgery, P.O. Box 7051, Kampala, Uganda. 

Christmas, T. J., 72 Glenferness Avenue, Talbot Woods, Bournemouth, Dorset. 

Davies, O. J. H., Barbers Orchard, Little Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex. 

De Naurois, Prof. Dr. R., m.c,, Grand Pare de Brunoy, E114 7 Rue Christofle, 
91800 Brunoy, France. 

Eley, J. T., 1 Bloomfield Close, Timsbury, Bath BA3 iLP. 

Fronteras, Capt. P., Middle watch, 56 Macey Street, Torpoint, Cornwall. 

Green, Prof. J., ph.d., Dept. of Zoology, Westfield College, Hampstead, London NW3 

Greenwood, J. G.,, Dept. of Biology, Liverpool Polytechnic, Byrom Street, Liver- 
pool L3 3AF. 

Harpum, Dr. J. R., St. Paul's College, Cheltenham, Glos. GL50 4AZ. 

Harrison, I. D., m.a., Hafan Deg, Panteg Road, Aberaeron, Dyfed, Wales. 

Jacobsen, P. E., Ivar Huitfeldtsgade 66, 8200 Arhus N, Denmark. 

James, P. C, 231 Fell Avenue, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. 

Lindberg, P., Kallsprangsgat 3, S-41320 Gothenburg, Sweden. 

Lindsey, T. R., P.O. Box 8, Malanda, Queensland, Australia. 

Liversidge, Dr. R., ph.d., P.O. Box 316, Kimberley, Cape 8300, South Africa. 

Lups, Dr. P., Naturhistorisches Museum Bern, 3005 Bern, Switzerland. 

Magnusson, A. H., Ramsays Strand 5A1, S-F 00330 Helsinki 33, Finland. 

Orton, D. A., The Limes, Alvechurch, Worcs. 

Pain, H. M., b.a., 9 Beeches Court, Avondale Road, Bromley, Kent BRi 4ER. 

Parker, J. G., b.a., Tye House, Bramford Tye, Ipswich, Suffolk. 

Perry, J. W., 9 Cornwall Avenue, Blackpool FY2 9QN. 

Raynor, E. M.,, Priorsmead, Nash Meadow, South Warnborough, Hants. 

Redman, N. J., 111 Harestone Valley Road, Caterham, Surrey CR3 6HR. 

Robertson, K. W., 210/129 Muang Thong Nives 2, Thanon Pattanakarn, Prakanong, 
Bangkok, Thailand. 

Speed, P. H., 298 Victoria Avenue, Ockbrook, Derby DE7 3RN. 

Stuart, S. N., Greenclose Farm, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 2AL. 

Timms, P. D. W., Charlbury, la Bell House Lane, Brentwood, Essex CM14 5 PP. 

Tinker, B. F., Lahr Senior School, C.F.P.O. 5000, D-7630, Lahr-Schwarzwald, West 

Tucker, J. J., 5 Larches Road, Foley Park, Kidderminster, Worcs. DY11 7AA. 

Waite, R. K., b.a., Dept. of Psychology, University of Keele, Keele, Staffs. ST5 5BG. 


Massey, M. J. McKelvie, J. N. 


The Committee much regrets to record the death of Sir A. Landsborough Thomson, 
c.b., o.b.e.,, ll.d., Vice-Ch?irman 1935-38, Chairman 1938-43. 


Accounts, 1976 2-3 

Angle, J. Phillip 

See Olson 

Annual General Meeting (85th) 33 

Ash, J. S. 

Four species of birds new to Ethiopia and other notes 4-9 

First known breeding of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea south of the 

Sahara 56-59 

Ash, J. S. and Howell, T. R. 

The Bald Ibis or Waldrapp Geronticus eremita in Ethiopia 104 

Ashford, R. W. and Bray, R. S. 

Confirmation of the occurrence of the Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulg is 

aegyptius aegyptitts in Ethiopia " 5 3—54 

Bender, Kristen E. 

See Collins 
Benson, C. W. 

Telacantbiira ussberi bengnellensis in Zambia 135-136 

Benson, C. W. and Colebrook-Robjent, J. F. R. 

Erythrism in the Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis 37—39 

Benson, C. W. and Winterbottom, J. M. 

The distribution and habitat of Telacantbiira ussberi benguellensis 46-48 

Benson, C. W. 

See also Hanmer 

Books Received 32, 72, 136 

boswall, jeffery 

Notes on tool-using by Egyptian Vultures Neopbron percnoptenis 77-78 

Bray, R. S. 

See Ashford 
Britton, Peter L. 

First African records of two Malagasy sea-birds 54-56 

Brosset, A. and Erard, C. 

New faunistic records from Gabon 125-132 

Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 

Opinions 1056 and 1060 31 

Opinions 1068, 1069 and 1070 104 

Clark, A. 

Review of the records of three Palaearctic ducks in Southern Africa 107-114 


The eggs of the Teita Falcon Falco fasciinucba 44-46 

On the egg of Vidua piirpurascens 81-82 

See also Benson 
Collins, Charles T. and Bender, Kristen E. 

Cervical Neossoptiles in a Neotropical Passerine 133-135 

Committee, 1976 Report of 1 

Cramp, Stanley 

An illustrated address on The Birds of the Western Palaearctic 73 

Davidson, N. C. 

See Greig-Smith 
Dowsett, R. J., Lemaire, Francoise, and Stjernstedt, R 

The voice of the courser Rhinoptilus cinctus 73—75 

Erard, C. 

See Brosset 
Erickson, Richard 

First record of the Knot Calidris camitus, and other records, from Belize 

(British Honduras) 78-81 

Feare, C. J. 

Phedina borbonica madagascariensis in the Amirantes 87-89 


An illustrated address on the ecology of parrots in Australia 3 3 

Gochfeld, M. 

See Snow, B. K. 
Green, Arthur A. 

New nesting records for Ruppell's Griffon Gyps rueppellii in West Africa 9-10 
Greig-Smith, P. W. and Davidson, N. C. 

Weights of West African Savanna birds 96-99 

Hanmer, D. B. and Benson, C. W. 

Normal and aberrant specimens of the Spotted-backed Weaver Ploceus 

cucullatus 89-93 

Hardy, John William and Raitt, Ralph J. 

Relationships between the two races of the San Bias Jay Cyanocorax san- 

blasiana 2 7 - 3i 

Harrison, I. D. 

Extension of Range of the White-headed Robin-chat Cossypha heinrlchi 20-21 
Haverschmidt, F. 

The occurrence of the Crimson Fruitcrow Haematoderus militaris in Surinam 76 

Holcomb, Larry C. 

Euplectes diadematus and Coliuspasser axillaris breeding in Somalia I 5 _I 7 

Holmes, D. A. 

Faunistic notes and further additions to the Sumatran avifauna 68-71 

Holyoak, D. T. 

See Schodde 
Holyoak, D. T. & Thibault, J. C. 

Halcyon gambieri Oustalet, an extinct Kingfisher from Mangareva, South 

Pacific Ocean 21-23 

Howell, T. R. 

See Ash 
Hudson, Robert 

Charadrius semipalmatus in the Azores 135 

Jany, Eberhard 

The Blue Rock Thrush of East Asia, Monticoh solitarius philippensis (Miiller), 

in the Moluccas 18-20 

Lemaire, Francoise 

See Dowsett 
Macdonald, M. A. and Taylor, I. R. 

Notes on some uncommon forest birds in Ghana 11 6-1 20 

Madge, S. G. 

Hole Nesting by Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis in Belize 4 I_ 42 

Medway, Lord 

Symposium on Asian Birds (in part) 33 

Melville, David 

New Laridae records from Hong Kong 34~37 

Olson, Storrs L. and Angle, J. Phillip 

Weights of Some Puerto Rican Birds 105-107 

Orr, I. C. 

Symposium on Asian Birds (in part) 33 

Parkes, Kenneth C. 

An undescribed subspecies of the Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus 65-68 
Payne, Robert B. 

Juvenile plumages of Cuculus canorus and Cuculus ghris in Africa 48-53 

Penry, E. H. 

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus on Frigate Island, Seychelles 1 20-1 21 

Prigogine, A. 

The Orange Ground-thrush Turdus tanganjicae (Sassi) a valid species 10-15 

Raitt, Ralph J. 

See Hardy 
Remsen, J. V., Jr. 

A third locality in Colombia for the Dusky-chested Flycatcher Tyrannopsis 

luteiventris 93~94 

Schodde, R. and Holyoak, D. T. 

Application of Halcyon ruficollaris Holyoak and Alcyone ruficollaris Bankier 32 

Serle, William 

The aberrant eggs of Turdoides plebejus in Nigeria and their relation to co- 
operative breeding and to victimisation by Clamator cuckoos 39~4 I 

Severinghaus, S. R. 

First record of the Ashy Drongo Dicnirus leucophaeus from Taiwan 103-104 

Snow, Barbara K. and Gochfeld, M. 

Field notes on the nests of the Green-fronted Lancebill Dory/era ludoviciae 

and the Blue-fronted Lancebill Doryfera johannae 1 21-125 

Snow, D. W. 

The display of the Scarlet-horned Manakin Pipra cornuta 2 3 _2 7 

Stjernstedt, R. 

See Dowsett 
Stoddart, D. R. 

Identity of pelicans on St. Joseph Atoll, Amirantes 94 - 95 

Strauch, Joseph G., Jr. 

Further bird weights from Panama 61-65 

Taylor, I. R. 

See Macdonald, M. A. 
Thibault, J. C. 

See Holyoak 
Tyler, Stephanie 

An illustrated address on the avifauna of Ethiopia 
Voous, K. H. 

Natterer's specimens of Sterna cantiaca from Brazil 

Walker, C. A. 

The rediscovery of the Blofeld and the Wilkes Collections of sub-fossil birds 

from St. Helena 

Walsh, J. Frank 

Nesting of the Jabiru Stork Ephippiorbynchus senegalensis in West Africa 
Ward, P. 

An illustrated address on Palaearctic migrants in Nigeria 
Wells, D. R. 

Muscicapa williamsoni Deignan ; a reappraisal 

White, C. M. N. 

Notes on some non-passerine birds of Wallacea 

Williamson, Kenneth 

Blyth's Pipit Anthus godlewskii in the Western Palaearctic 


See Benson 
Woodcock, M. W. 

Symposium on Asian birds (in part) 

World Wildlife Fund 

Co-operation invited on the protection of the Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita 
Wynne-Edwards, V. C. 

An address on social competition controlling population density in birds 

Zonfrillo, B. 

Re-discovery of the Andean Condor Vultur gryphus in Venezuela 














(Compiled by C. W. Benson with the assistance of 
Mrs. C. W. Benson and Mrs. M. Hawksley) 

All generic and specific names {of birds only) are indexed. Sub specific names are included only if new 
and are also indexed in bold print under the generic and the specific names. 

abingoni, Campethera 97 
abyssinicus, Dendropicos 59 

— Turtur 96 
Accipiter fasciatus 100 
Acrocephalus agricola 7 

— baeticatus 7, 129 

— dumetorum 7 
acuta, Anas 59, 78, 107, 109 
acutipennis, Chordeiles 62 
adelaidae, Dendroica 106 
adsimilis, Dicrurus 97 
Aechmorhynchus cancellatus 22 
aegyptius, Caprimulgus 53 
aeneus, Molothrus 64, 80 

afer, Euplectes 98 

— Nilaus 97 

— Turtur 96 
africana, Verreauxia 118 
africanus, Cassinaetus 118 

— Gyps 125 

— Pseudogyps 9 
agami, Agamia 61 
Agamia agami 61 
Agapornis swinderniana 118 

— taranta 59 
Agelaius xanthomus 106 
agricola, Acrocephalus 7 
alba, Calidris 62, 79 

— Gygis 1 1 5 

— Motacilla 128 

— Tyto 70-71 
albescens, Synallaxis 63 
albicapilla, Cossypha 97 
albicollis, Saltator 65 
albilinea, Tachycineta 64 
albitorques, Columba 59 
albobrunneus, Campylorhynchus 64 
albus, Corvus 8 

— Eudocimus 78 
Alcedo azurea 32 

— caerulescens 71 

— cristata 96 

— pulchra 32 

— quadribrachys 96 
— ■ speciosa 71 

alcinus, Machciramphus 69 
Alcyone ruficollaris 32 
Alethe choloensis 128 

— poliocephala 128 
alfredi, Bradypterus 6 

alleni, Porphyrio 96 
altera, Corapipo 63 
altiloquus, Vireo 106 
altirostris, Turdoides 39 
amandava, Estrilda 107 
Amazilia edward 62 

— rutila 80 

— tzacatl 62 
Amazona autumnalis 62 
americana, Parula 106 
Anas acuta 59, 78, 107, 109 

— capensis 107 

— clypeata 59, 107, 110-111 

— crecca 59 

— gibberifrons 71 

— penelope 59 

— querquedula 59, 107-108 

— rubripes 112 

: — smithi iio-iii 

— sparsa 59 

— undulata 59 

ani, Crotophaga 62, 106 
anneae, Euphonia 64 
Anous minutus 55 

— stolidus 54-55 

— tenuirostris 54-55 
antaios, Upupa 115 
Anthoscopus flavifrons 131 
Anthracothorax dominicus 106 

— nigricollis 62 

— viridis 106 
Anthus campestris 60-61 

— cervinus 59 

— godlewskii 60-61 

— novaeseelandiae 60-61 
Apalis goslingi 130 

— nigriceps 129 
rufogularis 130 

— sharpii 119, 130 
Aphriza virgata 62 
Apus batesi 118 

— • pacificus 71 
aquatica, Muscicapa 98 
arcuata, Dendrocygna 99-100 
argentatus, Larus 34 
Arremon aurantiirostris 65 
Arremonops conirostris 65 
Artomyias fuliginosa 130 
Asio otus 127 
assimilis, Chlorostilbon 62 

assimilis, Puffinus 1 1 5 

— Turdus 64 
astrictocarpus, Porzana 1 1 5 
aterrimus, Phoeniculus 97 
Atlantisia podarces 1 1 5 
atratus, Coragyps 17 
atriceps, Hypergerus 98 
Attila spadiceus 63 
Aulacorhynchus prasinus 63 
aurantiifrons, Hylophilus 64 
aurantiirostris, Arremon 65 
aurantiiventris, Trogon 62 
aureola, Pipra 24 
auricapillus, Icterus 64 
aurita, Sporophila 65 
aurocapillus, Seiurus 106 
australis, Treron 96 
autumnalis, Amazona 62 
axillaris, Coliuspasser 15-16 

— Myrmotherula 63 
azurea, Alcedo 32 
azureus, Ceyx 32 

baeticatus, Acrocephalus 7, 129 
barbarus, Laniarius 97 
barbatus, Pycnonotus 96-97 
Bartramia longicauda 62 
Basileuterus delatrii 64 
batesi, Apus 1 1 8 

— Terpsiphone 130 
Batis minima 130 

— senegalensis 98 
beecheii, Cyanocorax 30 
bengala, Estrilda 99 
bernsteinii, Ptilinopus 101 
biarmicus, Falco 59 
bicolor, Tiaris 107 
bifax, Bulweria 1 1 5 
blissetti, Diaphorophyia 130 

— Platysteira 130 
boehmi, Chaetura 46 

— Neafrapus 46-47 

— Sarothrura 125-126 
borbonica, Phedina 87-88 
borealis, Nuttallornis 63 
Bostrychia carunculata 59, 104 
bouvieri, Scotopelia 126 
brachyptera, Cisticola 97 
brachyura, Camaroptera 98 

— Chaetura 62 

— Sylvietta 98 
Bradornis pallidus 98 
Bradypterus alfredi 6 
brazzae, Phedina 88 
Brotogeris jugularis 62 
brunneicapillum, Ornithion 64 
brunnicephalus, Larus 34-35 
Bubo 126 

— sumatrana 127 
buffonii, Chalybura 62 

bulocki, Merops 96-97 
Bulweria bifax 115 
Butorides striatus 96 
Bycanistes fistulator 1 1 8 

cabanisi, Emberiza 98 
Cacicus cela 64 

— uropygialis 64 
Cacomantis dumetorum 101 

— variolosus 101 
caerulescens, Alcedo 71 

— Dendroica 106 

— Estrilda 98 

— Muscicapa 129 
Cairina scutulata 69 
Calandrella cinerea 127 
Calidris alba 62, 79 

— canutus 78-79 

— mauri 62 

— minuta 59 
Callonetta leucophrys 1 1 2 
camaronensis, Geokichla 10 

— Turdus 129 
Camaroptera brachyura 98 
camelus, Struthio 77 
Campephaga phoenicea 97 
Campephilus 42 

— melanoleucos 63 
campestris, Anthus 60-61 
Campethera abingoni 97 

— punctuligera 97 
Camptostoma obsoletum 64 
Campylorhynchus albobrunneus 64 
cancellatus, Aechmorhynchus 22 
canivetii, Chlorostilbon 80 
canorus, Cuculus 48-53 
cantiaca, Sterna 42-43 

canus, Larus 34, 36 
canutus, Calidris 78-79 
capensis, Anas 107 
capistrata, Nesocharis 98 
Caprimulgus aegyptius 53 
— ■ clarus 54 

— climacurus 96 

— europaeus 73 

— fossii 74 

— inornatus 53 

— noctitherus 106 

— nubicus 73 

— pectoralis 37-39, 74 
caprius, Chrysococcyx 96 
Capsiempsis flaveola 64 
Carolina, Porzana 61 
Carpodacus mexicanus 135 
carunculata, Bostrychia 59, 104 
carunculatus, Grus 59 
caspia, Hydroprogne 34 

— Sterna 79 
Cassidix mexicanus 64 

Cassinaetus afr icanus 1 1 8 
cassini, Malimbus 1 19-120 

— Muscicapa 130 
cassinii, Leptotila 62 
castanea, Dendroica 64 

— Diaphorophyia 130 

— Platysteira 130 
castaneicollis, Francolinus 59 
castaneoventris, Lampornis 62 
Catoptrophorus semipalmatus 62, 79 
cayana, Dacnis 64 

cayanensis, Myiozetetes 63 
cayennensis, Columba 62 
cela, Cacicus 64 
Celeus loricatus 63 
Centropus monachus 6 
Ceratopipra 23 
Cercococcyx mechowi 126 

— olivinus 126 
Cercomacra nigricans 63 

— tyrannina 63 
Cercomela familiaris 97 

— sordida 59 
certhia, Dendrocolaptes 63 
certhiola, Locustella 86 
cervinus, Anthus 59 
Ceryle maxima 96 

Ceyx azureus 32 

— picta 97 
Chaetura boehmi 46 

— brachyura 62 
chalybeata, Vidua 82, 98 
Chalybura buffonii 62 
Charadrius collaris 62 

— hiaticula 135 

— semipalmatus 62, 135 
— ■ wilsonia 62, 106 

chelicuti, Halcyon 97 
chinensis, Oriolus 102 
chiriquensis, Elaenia 64 
Chiroxiphia lanceolata 63 

— pareola 24 
Chlidonias leucopterus 70 
Chlorocichla flavicollis 5, 97 
chloromeros, Pipra 23, 26 
Chlorophanes spiza 64 
chloropus, Gallinula 62, 78 
Chlorostilbon assimilis 62 

— canivetii 80 

— maugaeus 106 
choloensis, Alethe 128 
Chordeiles acutipennis 62 

— gaudlichii 80 

— minor 80 
chrysater, Icterus 64 
Chrysococcyx caprius 96 

— flavigularis 126 

— klaas 96 
chrysoconus, Pogoniulus 97 

chrysomelas, Chrysothlypis 65 
Chrysothlypis chrysomelas 65 
Ciconia episcopus 69 

— stormi 69 
cinctus, Rhinoptilus 73 
cinerascens, Fraseria 129-130 
cinerea, Calandrella 127 
cinereum, Todirostrum 64 
cinereus, Circaetus 45 
cinnamomeus, Pachyramphus 63 
Circaetus cinereus 45 
Cisticola brachyptera 97 

■ — erythrops 97 

— exilis 71 

— galactotes 97 

— lateralis 97 

— rufa 97 

— ruficeps 97 
citrea, Protonotaria 64 
Clamator 39 

— levaillantii 40, 96 
Claravis pretiosa 62 
clarus, Caprimulgus 54 
climacurus, Caprimulgus 96 
clypeata, Anas 59, 107, iio-m 
Cnipodectes subbrunneus 63 
Cochlearius cochlearius 61 
cochlearius, Cochlearius 61 
Coereba flaveola 106 
Coliuspasser axillaris 15-16 
collaris, Charadrius 62 

colly bita, Phylloscopus 8, 121 
colombica, Thalurania 62 
Colonia colonus 63 
colonus, Colonia 63 
Columba albitorques 59 

— cayennensis 62 

— flavirostris 80 

— squamosa 106 
Columbina minuta 62 

— passerina 106 

— talpacoti 62 
comitata, Muscicapa 130 
comitatus, Pedilorhynchus 130 
communis, Sylvia 129 
concreta, Diaphorophyia 130 

— Platysteira 130 
conirostris, Arremonops 65 
Contopus latirostris 106 

— ■ sordidulus 63 

— virens 63 
Coragyps atratus 17 
Corapipo altera 63 
cornuta, Pipra 23-24, 26 
coronata, Pipra 63 
corvina, Corvinella 97 
Corvinella corvina 97 
Corvus albus 8 

— crassirostris 59 

— monedula 76 

Corvus ruficollis 8 

— splendens 8 
Cossypha albicapilla 97 

— heinrichi 20-21 

— niveicapilla 97 
crassirostris, Corvus 59 

— Larus 34 
crecca, Anas 59 
crinitus, Myiarchus 63 
crispus, Pelecanus 94-95 
cristata, Alcedo 96 

— Fulica 59 
cristatus, Lanius 86, 103 
croceus, Macronyx 128 
crossleyi, Geokichla 10 
Crotophaga ani 62, 106 

— major 62 

— sulcirostris 106 
Crypturellus soui 61 
cucullata, Lonchura 99 
cucullatus, Ploceus 89-92, 98 
Cuculus canorus 48-53 

— gularis 48-52 

— ■ tymbonomus 101 
cuprea, Nectarinia 98 
cyanea, Platysteira 98, 130 
Cyanerpes cyaneus 64-68 
Cyanerpes cyaneus holti, subsp. nov. 67 
cyaneus, Cyanerpes 64-68 
Cyanochen cyanopterus 59 
Cyanocompsa cyanoides 65 
Cyanocorax beechei 30 

— melanocyanea 30 

— sanblasiana 27-30 
— ■ yucatanica 30 

cyanoides, Cyanocompsa 65 
cyanopterus, Cyanochen 59 
Cygnus olor 112 
Cymbilaimus lineatus 63 
Cyporhinus phaeocephalus 64 
Cypsiurus parvus 48 

Dacnis cayana 64 

— venusta 64 
dactylatra, Sula 56 
Damophila julie 62 
decumanus, Psarocolius 64 
deiroleus, Falco 42 
delatrii, Basileuterus 64 
delawarensis, Larus 79 
Dendrocincla fuliginosa 63 
Dendrocolaptes certhia 63 
Dendrocygna arcuata 99-100 

— guttata 100 
Dendroica adelaidae 106 

— - caerulescens 106 

— castanea 64 

— pensylvanica 64 

— petechia 106 

— tigrina 106 

Dendropicos abyssinicus 59 
dentata, Petronia 98 
diadematus, Euplectes 15-16 
Diaphorophyia blissetti 130 

— • castanea 130 

— ■ tonsa 130 
Dicaeum trochileum 71 
Dicrurus 131 

— adsimilis 97 

— leucophaeus 103 

— ludwigii 97 
Diglossa plumbea 64 
dimidiatus, Ramphocelus 65 
doliatus, Thamnophilus 63 
dominicensis, Icterus 106 

— Tyrannus 106 
dominicus, Anthracothorax 106 
dorsomaculatus, Ploceus 131 
Doryfera johannae 1 21-124 

— ludoviciae 121-124 
Dryocopus lineatus 63 
Dryoscopus gambensis 97 
dubius, Lybius 97 
dumetorum, Acrocephalus 7 

— Cacomantis 101 

edolioides, Melaenornis 98 
edward, Amazilia 62 
Elaenia chiriquensis 64 

— flavogaster 64 

— frantzii 64 

— martinica 106 
elatus, Tyrannulus 64 
Electron platyrhynchum 62 
elegans, Sarothrura 125 
Emberiza cabanisi 98 

— ■ forbesi 98 

— tahapisi 98 
eminentissima, Foudia 92 
Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis 136 
episcopus, Ciconia 69 

— Thraupis 65 
epulata, Muscicapa 130 
eremita, Geronticus 72, 104 
Eremomela pusilla 98 
erythrocephala, Pipra 23-27 
Erythrocercus mccallii 130 
erythrops, Cisticola 97 

— Quelea 98 
erythroptera, Prinia 97 
estella, Oreotrochilus 124 
Estrilda amandava 107 

— ■ bengala 99 

— ■ caerulescens 98 

— - larva ta 99 

— melpoda 96, 98 
Eucometis penicillata 65 
Eudocimus albus 78 
Euphonia anneae 64 

— fulvicrissa 64 

Euphonia gouldi 65 

— laniirostris 64 

— luteicapilla 64 

— minuta 64 

— musica 106 
Euplectes afer 98 

— diadematus 15-16 

— hordeaceus 98 

— macrourus 98 

— orix 16, 98 
Eupodotis humilis 4 

— senegalensis 4 
europaeus, Caprimulgus 73 
Eurostopodus macrotis 102 
eurygnatha, Sterna 43 
eurystomina, Pseudochelidon 127 
Eurystomus glaucurus 88 
exilis, Cisticola 71 

exsul, Myrmeciza 63 

Falco biarmicus 59 

— deiroleus 42 

— fasciinucha 44 

— pelegrinoides 45 

— peregrinus 45 

— rufigularis 41 

— sparverius 106 

— subbuteo 41 
familiaris, Cercomela 97 
fasciatoventris, Thryothorus 64 
fasciatus, Accipiter 100 

— Myiophobus 63 
fasciinucha, Falco 44 
ferruginea, Tadorna 56-59 
Ficedula hypoleuca 98 
fistulator, Bycanistes 1 1 8 
flammulatus, Megabyas 130 
flava, Piranga 65 
flaveola, Capsiempsis 64 

— Coereba 106 
flavicollis, Chlorocichla 5, 97 

— Macronyx 59 
flavifrons, Anthoscopus 131 

— Poicephalus 59 
flavigaster, Hyliota 98 
flavigularis, Chrysococcyx 126 
flavipes, Hylophilus 64 

— Tringa 62 
flavirostris, Columba 80 
flavogaster, Elaenia 64 
flavovirens, Phylloscartes 64 
flavoviridis, Vireo 64 
fluviatilis, Locustella 6 
Fluvicola pica 63 

forbesi, Emberiza 98 
forficata, Muscivora 63 
formosa, Megaloprepia 101 
formosus, Ptilinopus 101 
fossii, Caprimulgus 74 
Foudia eminentissima 92 

Foudia madagascariensis 92, 121 
Francolinus castaneicollis 59 

— psilolaemus 59 
frantzii, Elaenia 64 
Fraseria cinerascens 129-130 

— ocreata 1 30-1 31 
frontalis, Nonnula 63 
Fulica cristata 59 
fuliginosa, Artomyias 130 

— Dendrocincla 63 
fuligula, Hirundo 59 
fulva, Hirundo 106 
fulvicrissa, Euphonia 64 
fulviventris, Myrmotherula 63 
funereus, Oryzoborus 65 

— Parus 119, 130 
fuscatus, Margarops 106 
fuscicauda, Habia 65 

galactotes, Cisticola 97 
Galerida malabarica 59 
galinieri, Parophasma 59 
Gallinula chloropus 62, 78 
gambensis, Dryoscopus 97 
gambieri, Halcyon 21-22 
gaudlichii, Chordeiles 80 
Gelochelidon nilotica 79 
Geokichla camaronensis 10 

— crossleyi 10 

— gurneyi 10-11, 14 

— oberlaenderi 10- 11 

— piaggiae 10- 11 

— princei 10 

— williamsi 11-14 
Geothlypis trichas 106 
Geotrygon montana 106 
Geronticus eremita 72, 104 
gertrudae, Halcyon 21-22 

— Todirhamphus 21-22 
Gerygone sulphurea 84 
gibberifrons, Anas 71 
Glareola nordmanni 5 

— ocularis 5 
— ■ pratincola 5 

glareola, Tringa 59 
glaucescens, Larus 35 
Glaucidium perlatum 96 
Glaucis hirsuta 62, 124, 133 
glaucoides, Larus 35 
glaucurus, Eurystomus 88 
godlewskii, Anthus 60-61 
goertae, Mesopicos 97 
Goldmania violiceps 62 
goslingi, Apalis 130 
gouldi, Euphonia 65 
Grafisia torquata 131 
granadensis, Myiozetetes 93 
griseigularis, Myioparus 130 
griseus, Passer 98 
grossus, Pitylus 65 

Grus carunculatus 59 
gryphus, Vultur 17-18 
guatemalensis, Sclerurus 63 
gularis, Cuculus 48-52 

— Paroaria 133-134 
gurneyi, Geokichla 10-11, 14 
guttata, Dendrocygna 100 
guttatus, Xiphorhynchus 63 
guy, Phaethornis 62 

Gygis alba 1 1 5 
Gymnocichla nudiceps 63 
gymnogenys, Turdoides 39 
Gymnopithys leucaspis 63 
Gymnostinops montezuma 64 
Gyps africanus 125 

— rueppellii 9 
gyrola, Tangara 65 

Habia fuscicauda 65 
Hacmatoderus militaris 76 
haematodus, Trichoglossus 102 
Halcyon chclicuti 97 

— gambicri 21-22 

— gcrtrudac 21-22 

— leucocephala 97 

— malimbica 97 

— mangaia 32 

— reichcnbachi 21 

— ruficollaris 32 

— sancta 32 

- — scncgalensis 97 
heinrichi, Cossypha 20-21 
Heliodoxa jacula 62 
Heliomaster longirostris 62 
Henicorhina leucophrys 64 

— lcucosticta 64 
heuglini, Ploccus 98 
hiaticula, Charadrius 135 
Himantopus himantopus 70-71 
himantopus, Himantopus 70-71 
hirsuta, Glaucis 62, 124, 133 
hirundineus, Merops 97 
Hirundo fuligula 59 

— fulva 106 

— rustica 80, 127 
hirundo, Sterna 62 
holti, Cyanerpes 67-68 
hordeaceus, Euplectes 98 
humilis, Eupodotis 4 
Hydranassa tricolor 61 
Hydroprogne caspia 34 
Hyliota flavigaster 98 

— violacea 119, 130 
Hylophilus aurantiifrons 64 

— ■ flavipes 64 
Hylophylax naevioides 63 
hyperboreus, Larus 34-35 
Hypergerus atriceps 98 
hypogrammica, Pytilia 98 
hypoleuca, Ficedula 98 

hypoleucos, Tringa 59 

ichthyaetus, Larus 34 
icterocephala, Tangara 65 
icteronotus, Ramphocelus 65 
Icterus auricapillus 64 

— chrysater 64 

— dominicensis 106 

— icterus 106 
icterus, Icterus 106 
Indicator indicator 97 

— minor 97 
indicator, Indicator 97 
indicus, Metopidius 69, 71 
infuscata, Muscicapa 130 
inornata, Tangara 65 
inornatus, Caprimulgus 53 
inquisitor, Tityra 63 

Jacana jacana 62 
jacana, Jacana 62 
Jubula lettii 126 

klaas, Chrysococcyx 96 

lachrymosus, Xiphorhynchus 63 
Lagonosticta rara 99 

rhodopareia 81-82 

— rufopicta 99 

— senegala 82, 99 
Lalage nigra 84 
Lampornis castaneoventris 62 
Lamprotornis mevcsii 47 
lanceolata, Chiroxiphia 63 
Laniarius barbarus 97 
laniirostris, Euphonia 64 
Laniocera rufescens 63 
Lanius cristatus 86, 103 
Larus argentatus 34 

— brunnicephalus 34-35 

— canus 34, 36 

— crassirostris 34 

— delawarensis 79 

— glaucescens 35 

— glaucoides 35 

— hyperboreus 34-35 

— ichthyaetus 34 

— ridibundus 34 

— saundersi 34, 36 

— schistisagus 34 
larvata, Estrilda 99 

— ■ Tangara 65 
lateralis, Cisticola 97 
latimeri, Vireo 106 
latirostris, Contopus 106 

— Muscicapa 83-87 
Legatus leucophaius 63 
Leptotila cassinii 62 
lettii, Jubula 126 

— Lophostrix 126 

leucaspis, Gymnopithys 63 
leucocephala, Halcyon 97 
leucogaster, Sula 56 
leucomelas, Parus 98 
leuconotus, Parus 59 
leucophaeus, Dicrurus 103 
leucophaius, Legatus 63 
leucophrys, Callonetta 112 

— Henicorhina 64 
leucopterus, Chlidonias 70 
leucosticta, Henicorhina 64 
leucotis, Thryothorus 64 
levaillantii, Clamator 40, 96 
lherminieri, Puffinus 1 1 5 
lictor, Pitangus 63 
lineatus, Cymbilaimus 63 

— Dryocopus 63 
Locustella certhiola 86 

— fluviatilis 6 

— luscinioides 7 
Lonchura cucullata 99 

— punctulata 69 
longicauda, Bartramia 62 

— Trochocercus 98 
longicaudus, Stercorarius 34, 36 
longirostris, Heliomaster 62 

— Rallus 106 
Lophostrix lettii 1 26 
loricatus, Celeus 63 
Loriculus vernalis 71 
Loxigilla portoricensis 107 
luctuosus, Tachyphonus 65 
ludoviciae, Doryfera 1 21-124 
ludovicianus, Pheuticus 65 
ludwigii, Dicrurus 97 
lugens, Sarothrura 126 
luscinioides, Locustella 7 
luteicapilla, Euphonia 64 
luteiventris, Tyrannopsis 93-94 
luteolus, Ploceus 98 

Lybius dubius 97 

Macheiramphus alcinus 69 
Macronyx croceus 128 

— flavicollis 59 
macrorhynchus, Notharchus 63 
macrotis, Eurostopodus 102 
macroura, Vidua 98 

— Zenaida 106 
macrourus, Euplectes 98 
maculatus, Myiodynastes 63 
madagascariensis, Foudia 92, 121 
magna, Sturnella 64 

major, Crotophaga 62 

— Taraba 63 
malabarica, Galerida 59 
Malaconotus sulfureopectus 97 
Malacoptila panamensis 63 
malimbica, Halcyon 97 
Malimbus cassini 11 9-1 20 

Malimbus rubriceps 98 

— rubricollis 119 

— scutatus 1 1 9-1 20 
Manacus vitellinus 63 
mangaia, Halcyon 32 
Margarops fuscatus 106 
marginatus, Microcerculus 64 
martinica, Elaenia 106 
maugaeus, Chlorostilbon 106 
mauri, Calidris 62 
maxima, Ceryle 96 

— Sterna 79 
maximus, Saltator 65 
mccallii, Erythrocercus 130 
mcleannani, Phaenostictus 63 
mechowi, Cercococcyx 126 
Megabyas flammulatus 130 
Megaloprepia formosa 101 
Megarhynchus pitangua 63 
Melaenornis edolioides 98 
Melanerpes portoricensis 106 

— pucherani 63 
— - pygmaeus 80 

— rubricapillus 63 
melanocephalus, Vanellus 59 
melanocyanea, Cyanocorax 30 
melanoleucos, Campephilus 63 
melanops, Myadestes 64 
melanopygia, Telacanthura 118 
melanospila, Ptilinopus 70 
melpoda, Estrilda 96, 98 
mentalis, Pipra 23, 26-27, 63 

— Sphenoeacus 97 
Merops bulocki 96-97 

— hirundineus 97 

— pusillus 97 
Mesopicos goertae 97 
Metopidius indicus 69, 71 
mevesii, Lamprotornis 47 
mexicanum, Tigrisoma 61 
mexicanus, Carpodacus 135 

— Cassidix 64 

— Todus 106 
Micrastur semitorquatus 61 
Microcerculus marginatus 64 
militaris, Haematoderus 76 
Mimus polyglottos 106 
minima, Batis 130 

minor, Chordeiles 80 

— Indicator 97 
minuta, Calidris 59 

— Columbina 62 

— Euphonia 64 

— Piaya 62 

— Sporophila 65 

— Tchagra 97 
minutus, Anous 55 

— Xenops 63 
Mionectes olivaceus 64 
Mniotilta varia 64, 106 

Molothrus aeneus 64, 80 
momota, Momotus 62 
Momotus momota 62 
monacha, Oriolus 59 
monachus, Centropus 6 
Monasa morphoeus 63 
monedula, Corvus 76 
montana, Geotrygon 106 
montezuma, Gymnostinops 64 
Monticola solitarius 18-19 
morphoeus, Monasa 63 
Motacilla alba 128 
mozambicus, Serinus 96, 98 
Muscicapa aquatica 98 

— caerulescens 129 

— cassini 130 

— comitata 130 

— epulata 130 

— infuscata 130 

— latirostris 83-87 

— olivascens 130 

— williamsoni 83-86 
Muscivora forficata 63 
musculus, Troglodytes 64 
musica, Euphonia 106 
Myadestes melanops 64 
Myiarchus crinitus 63 

— panamensis 63 

— stolidus 106 

— tuberculifer 63 
Myiobus sulphureipygius 63 
Myiodynastes maculatus 63 
Myioparus griseigularis 130 

— plumbeus 98, 130 
Myiophobus fasciatus 63 
Myiozetetes 94 

— cayanensis 63 

— granadensis 93 

— similis 93 
Myrmeciza exsul 63 
Myrmotherula axillaris 63 

— fulviventris 63 

naevia, Tapera 62 
naevioides, Hylophylax 63 
Neafrapus boehmi 46-47 
Nectarinia cuprea 98 

— pulchella 98 

— senegalensis 98 

— verticalis 98 
Neochelidon tibialis 64 
Neophron percnopterus 77 
Nesocharis capistrata 98 
Nesospingus speculiferus 106 
niger, Phalacrocorax 71 

— Quiscalus 106 
nigra, Lalag3 84 
nigricans, Cercomacra 63 
nigricapillus, Thryothorus 64 
nigriceps, Apalis 129 

nigriceps, Serinus 59 
nigricollis, Anthracothorax 62 

— Ploceus 98 

— Sporophila 65 
nigromitratus, Trochocercus 119, 130 
Nilaus afer 97 

nilotica, Gelochelidon 79 
niveicapilla, Cossypha 97 
noctitherus, Caprimulgus 106 
Nonnula frontalis 63 
nordmanni, Glareola 5 
Notafrapus sheppardi 47 
Notharchus macrorhynchus 63 

— pectoralis 63 
novaeseelandiae, Anthus 60-61 
nubicus, Caprimulgus 73 
nudiceps, Gymnocichla 63 
nudipes, Otus 106 
Numcnius phaeopus 62 
Nuttallornis borealis 63 

oberlaenderi, Geokichla 10-11 
obscura, Psalidoprocne 97 
obsoletum, Camptostoma 64 
ocreata, Fraseria 1 30-1 31 
ocularis, Glareola 5 
oleaginea, Pipromorpha 64 
olivacea, Tiaris 65, 106 
olivaceus, Mionectes 64 

— Picumnus 63 

— Rhynchocyclus 64 
olivascens, Muscicapa 130 
olivinus, Cercococcyx 126 
olor, Cygnus 1 1 2 
onocrotalus, Pelecanus 95 
Onychognathus tenuirostris 59 
Oporornis tolmiei 64 

oreas, Picathartes 129 
Oreotrochilus estella 124 
Oriolus chinensis 102 

— monacha 59 
orix, Euplectes 16, 98 
ornatus, Trichoglossus 102 
Ornithion brunneicapillum 64 
Oryzoborus funereus 65 
Otus nudipes 106 

otus, Asio 127 

Pachyramphus cinnamomeus 63 

— polychopterus 63 
pacificus, Apus 71 
pallidus, Bradornis 98 
palmarum, Thraupis 65 
panamensis, Malacoptila 63 

— Myiarchus 63 
pareola, Chiroxiphia 24 
Parmoptila rubrifrons 120 
Paroaria gularis 133-134 
Parophasma galinieri 59 
Parula americana 106 

Parus funereus 119, 130 

— leucomelas 98 

— leuconotus 59 
parvus, Cypsiurus 48 
Passer griseus 98 
Passerculus sandwichensis 80 
passerina, Columbina 106 
pectoralis, Caprimulgus 37-39, 74 

— Notharchus 63 
Pedilorhynchus comitatus 130 
Pelecanus crispus 94-95 

— onocrotalus 95 

— rufescens 95 
pelegrinoides, Falco 45 
peli, Scotopelia 126-127 
pelios, Turdus 97 
penelope, Anas 59 
penicillata, Eucometis 65 
pensylvanica, Dendroica 64 
percnopterus, Neophron 77 
peregrinus, Falco 45 
perlatum, Glaucidium 96 
petechia, Dendroica 106 
Petronia dentata 98 
Phaenostictus mcleannani 63 
phaeocephalus, Cyporhinus 64 
phaeopus, Numenius 62 
Phaethornis guy 62 

— superciliosus 62 
Phalacrocorax niger 71 

— sulcirostris 71 
Phedina borbonica 87-88 

— brazzae 88 
Pheucticus ludovicianus 65 
phoenicea, Campephaga 97 
phoenicoptera, Pytilia 98 
Phoeniculus aterrimus 97 

— purpureus 97 
Pholidornis rushiae 120, 131 
Phylloscartes flavovirens 64 
Phylloscopus colly bita 8, 121 

— sibilatrix 7, 121 

— trochilus 97, 1 20-1 21 
piaggiae, Geokichla 10-11 

— Turdus 11-14 

— Zoothera 11 
Piaya minuta 62 
pica, Fluvicola 63 
Picathartes oreas 129 
Picoides temminckii 102 
picta, Ceyx 97 
Picumnus olivaceus 63 
Pipra aureola 24 

— chloromeros 23, 26 

— cornuta 23-24, 26 

— coronata 63 

— erythrocephala 23-27 

— mentalis 23, 26-27, 63 

— rubrocapilla 23, 26-27 
Pipromorpha oleaginea 64 

Piranga flava 65 

— rubra 65 
pitangua, Megarhynchus 63 
Pitangus lictor 63 

— sulphuratus 63 
Pitylus grossus 65 
platyrhynchum, Electron 62 
Platysteira blissetti 130 

— castanea 130 

— cyanea 98, 130 

— tonsa 130 

plebejus, Turdoides 39-41, 97 
Plocepasser superciliosus 98 
Ploceus cucullatus 89-92, 98 

— dorsomaculatus 131 

— heuglini 98 

— luteolus 98 

— nigricollis 98 

— preussi 131 

— superciliosus 131 
— • tricolor 131 

plumata, Prionops 97 
plumbea, Diglossa 64 

— Polioptila 64 
plumbeus, Myioparus 98, 130 

Turdus 106 
Pluvialis squatarola 62 
podarces, Atlantisia 106 
Podiceps ruficollis 59 
Pogoniulus chrysoconus 97 
Poicephalus flavifrons 59 
poliocephala, Alethe 128 
Polioptila plumbea 64 
polychopterus, Pachyramphus 63 
polyglottos, Mimus 106 
pomarinus, Stercorarius 34 
Porphyrio alleni 96 
portoricensis, Loxigilla 107 

— ■ Melanerpes 106 
Porzana astrictocarpus 1 1 5 

— Carolina 61 
prasinus, Aulacorhynchus 63 
pratincola, Glareola 5 
pretiosa, Claravis 62 
preussi, Ploceus 131 
princei, Geokichla 10 

— Turdus 129 
Prinia erythroptera 97 

— subflava 97 
Prionops plumata 97 
Prosobonia 22 
Protonotaria citrea 64 
Psalidoprocne obscura 97 
Psarocolius decumanus 64 
Pseudochelidon eurystomina 127 
Pseudogyps africanus 9 
psilolaemus, Francolinus 59 
Pterodroma rupinarum 115 
Ptilinopus bernsteinii 101 

— formosus 101 

Ptilinopus melanospila 70 
pucherani, Melanerpes 63 
Puffinus assimilis 1 1 5 

— lherminieri 1 1 5 
pulchella, Nectarinia 98 
pulchra, Alcedo 32 

— Sarothrura 125-126 
punctatus, Thamnophilus 63 
punctulata, Lonchura 69 
punctuligera, Campethera 97 
purpurascens, Vidua 81-82 
purpurata, Querula 63 
purpureus, Phoeniculus 97 
pusilla, Eremomela 98 
pusillus, Merops 97 
Pycnonotus barbatus 96-97 
pygmaeus, Melanerpes 80 
Pyrocephalus rubinus 41 
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax 59 
pyrrhocorax, Pyrrhocorax 59 
Pytilia hypogrammica 98 

— phoenicoptera 98 

quadribrachys, Alcedo 96 
Quelea erythrops 98 
querquedula, Anas 59, 107-108 
Querula purpurata 63 
Quiscalus niger 106 

Rallus longirostris 106 

— rougetii 59 
Ramphocaenus rufiventris 64 
Ramphocelus dimidiatus 65 

— icteronotus 65 
rara, Lagonosticta 99 
reichenbachi, Halcyon 21 
reinwardii, Turdoides 97 
Rhinoptilus cinctus 73 
Rhodinocichla rosea 65 
rhodopareia, Lagonosticta 81-82 
Rhynchocyclus olivaceus 64 
ridibundus, Larus 34 

rosea, Rhodinocichla 65 
rougetii, Rallus 59 
rubinus, Pyrocephalus 41 
rubra, Piranga 65 
rubricapillus, Melanerpes 63 
rubriceps, Malimbus 98 
rubricollis, Malimbus 119 
rubrifrons, Parmoptila 120 
rubripes, Anas 112 
rubrocapilla, Pipra 23, 26-27 
rueppellii, Gyps 9 
rufa, Cisticola 97 

— Sarothrura 125-126 
rufalbus, Thryothorus 64 
rufescens, Laniocera 63 

— Pelecanus 95 
ruficeps, Cisticola 97 
ruficollaris, Alcyone 32 

ruficollaris, Halcyon 32 
ruricollis, Corvus 8 

— Podiceps 59 
rufigularis, Falco 41 
rufiventer, Terpsiphone 130 
rufiventris, Ramphocaenus 64 
rufocinerea, Terpsiphone 130 
rufogularis, Apalis 130 
rufopicta, Lagonosticta 99 
rufus, Tachyphonus 65 

— Trogon 62 
rupinarum, Pterodroma 1 1 5 
rushiae, Pholidornis 120, 131 
rustica, Hirundo 80, 127 
ruticilla, Setophaga 106 
rutila, Amazilia 80 

rutilus, Thryothorus 64 

Saltator albicollis 65 

— maximus 65 
sanblasiana, Cyanocorax 27-30 
sancta, Halcyon 32 
sandvicensis, Sterna 42-44, 79 

— Thalasseus 62 
sandwichensis, Passerculus 80 
Sarothrura boehmi 125-126 

— elegans 125 

— lugens 126 

— • pulchra 125-126 

— rufa 125-126 
saundersi, Larus 34, 36 
Saurothera vieilloti 106 
Schiffornis turdinus 63 
schistisagus, Larus 34 
scintilla, Selasphorus 62 
Sclerurus guatemalensis 63 
Scotopelia bouvieri 126 

— peli 126-127 
scutatus, Malimbus 11 9-1 20 
scutulata, Cairina 69 
Seiurus aurocapillus 106 
Selasphorus scintilla 62 
semipalmatus, Catoptrophorus 62, 79 

— Charadrius 62, 135 
semitorquatus, Micrastur 61 
senegala, Lagonosticta 82, 99 

— Tchagra 97 
senegalensis, Batis 98 

— Ephippiorhynchus 136 

— Eupodotis 4 

— Halcyon 97 

— Nectarinia 98 

— Streptopelia 96 

— Zosterops 98 
Serinus mozambicus 96, 98 

— nigriceps 59 
Setophaga ruticilla 106 
sharpii, Apalis 119, 130 
sheppardi, Notafrapus 47 
sibilator, Sirystes 63 

sibilatrix, Phylloscopus 7, 121 
similis, Myiozetetes 93 
Sirystes sibilator 63 
smithi, Anas 110-111 
solitarius, Monticola 18-19 
sordidulus, Contopus 63 
soui, Crypturellus 61 
spadiceus, Attila 63 
sparsa, Anas 59 
sparverius, Falco 106 
speciosa, Alcedo 71 
speculiferus, Nesospingus 106 
Sphenoeacus mentalis 97 
Spindalis 105 

— zena 106 
spiza, Chlorophanes 64 
Spizaetus tyrannus 78 
splendens, Corvus 8 
Sporophila aurita 65 

— minuta 65 

— nigricollis 65 
squamiceps, Turdoides 41 
squamosa, Columba 106 
squatarola, Pluvialis 62 
Stercorarius longicaudus 34, 36 

— pomarinus 34 
Sterna 78 

— cantiaca 42-43 

— caspia 79 

— eurygnatha 43 

— hirundo 62 

— maxima 79 

— sandvicensis 42-44, 79 
stolidus, Anous 54-55 

— Myiarchus 106 
stormi, Ciconia 69 
Streptopelia senegalensis 96 
striatus, Butorides 96 
Struthio camelus 77 
Sturnella magna 64 
Sturnus vulgaris 128 
subbrunneus, Cnipodectes 63 
subbuteo, Falco 41 
subflava, Prinia 97 

Sula dactylatra 56 

— leucogaster 56 

— sula 55 
sula, Sula 55 
sulcirostris, Crotophaga 62 

— Phalacrocorax 71 
sulfureopectus, Malaconotus 97 
sulphuratus, Pitangus 63 
sulphurea, Gerygone 84 
sulphureipygius, Myiobius 63 
sulphurescens, Tolmomyias 64 
sumatrana, Bubo 127 
superciliosus, Phaethornis 62 

— Plocepasser 98 

— Ploceus 131 
swinderniana, Agapornis 118 

Sylvia communis 129 
Sylvietta brachyura 98 
Synallaxis albescens 63 

Tachycineta albilinea 64 
Tachyphonus luctuosus 65 

— rufus 65 
Tadorna ferruginea 56-59 

— tadorna 112 
tadorna, Tadorna 112 
tahapisi, Emberiza 98 
talpacoti, Columbina 62 
tanganjicae, Turdus 10-14 
Tangara gyrola 65 

— icterocephala 65 

— inornata 65 

— larvata 65 
Tapera naevia 62 
Taraba major 63 
taranta, Agapornis 59 
Tchagra minuta 97 

— ■ senega la 97 
Telacanthura melanopygia 118 

— ussheri 46-48, 135 
temminckii, Picoides 102 
tenuirostris, Anous 54-55 

— Onychognathus 59 
Terpsiphone batesi 130 

— rufiventer 130 

" — rufocinerea 130 

— viridis 98, 130 
Thalasseus sandvicensis 62 
Thalurania colombica 62 
Thamnophilus doliatus 63 

— punctatus 63 
Thraupis episcopus 65 

— palmarum 65 
Thryothorus fasciatoventris 64 

— leucotis 64 

— nigricapillus 64 

— rufalbus 64 

— rutilus 64 
Tiaris bicolor 107 

— olivacea 65, 106 
tibialis, Neochelidon 64 
tigrina, Dendroica 106 
Tigrisoma mexicanum 61 
Tityra inquisitor 63 
Todirhamphus gertrudae 21-22 
Todirostrum cinereum 64 
Todus mexicanus 106 
tolmiei, Oporornis 64 
Tolmomyias sulphurescens 64 
tonsa, Diaphorophyia 130 
torquata, Grafisia 131 
Treron australis 96 

— waalia 96 
trichas, Geothlypis 106 
Trichoglossus haematodus 102 

— ornatus 102 

tricolor, Hydranassa 61 

— Ploceus 1 3 1 
Tringa flavipes 62 

— glareola 59 

— hypoleucos 59 
trochileum, Dicaeum 71 
trochilus, Phylloscopus 97, 1 20-1 21 
Trochocercus longicauda 98 

— nigromitratus 119, 130 
Troglodytes musculus 64 
Trogon aurantiiventris 62 

— rufus 62 
tuberculifer, Myiarchus 63 
turdinus, SchifTornis 63 
Turdoides altirostris 39 

— gymnogenys 39 

— plebejus 39-41, 97 

— reinwardii 97 

— squamiceps 41 
Turdus assimilis 64 

— camaroncnsis 129 

— pelios 97 

— piaggiae 11-14 

— plumbeus 106 

— princei 129 

— tanganjicae 10-14 

— williamsi 1 1-14 
Turtur abyssinicus 96 

— afer 96 
tymbonomus, Cuculus 101 
tyrannina, Cercomacra 63 
Tyrannopsis lutciventris 93 
Tyrannulus elatus 64 
Tyrannus dominicensis 106 
tyrannus, Spizaetus 78 
Tyto alba 70-71 

tzacatl, Amazilia 62 

undulata, Anas 59 
Upupa antaios 1 1 5 
uropygialis, Cacicus 64 
ussheri, Telacanthura 46-48, 135 

Vanellus melanocephalus 59 

varia, Mniotilta 106 
variolosus, Cacomantis 101 
venusta, Dacnis 64 
vernalis, Loriculus 71 
Ycrreauxia africana 118 
verticalis, Nectarinia 98 
Vidua chalybeata 82, 98 

— macroura 98 

— purpurascens 81-82 
vieilloti, Saurothera 106 
violacea, Hyliota 119, 130 
violiceps, Goldmania 62 
virens, Contopus 63 
Vireo altiloquus 106 

— flavoviridis 64 

— latimeri 106 
virgata, Aphriza 62 
viridis, Anthracothorax 106 

— Terpsiphone 98, 130 
vitcllinus, Manacus 63 
vulgaris, Sturnus 128 
Yultur gryphus 17-18 

waalia, Treron 96 
wagleri, Zarhynchus 64 
williamsi, Geokichla 11-14 

— Turdus 1 1 -1 4 
williamsoni, Muscicapa 83-86 
wilsonia, Charadrius 62, 106 

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus 64 
xanthocephalus, Xanthocephalus 64 
xanthomus, Agelaius 106 
Xenops minutus 63 
Xiphorhynchus guttatus 63 

— lachrymosus 63 

yucatanica, Cyanocorax 30 

Zarhynchus wagleri 64 
zena, Spindalis 106 
Zenaida macroura 106 
Zoothera piaggiae 1 1 
Zosterops senegalensis 98 


p. 5, lines i, 31: 'Glareola, not 'C/areo/a 

p. 5, line 38: 'Malindi', not 'Inalindi' 

p. 9, lines 13, 17: i rueppellii\ not ''ruppellu or 'ruppelliP 

p. 10, line 49: i camaronensis\ not l cameronensis* 

p. 15, line 51: 'Coliuspasser , not ' Colliuspasser* 

p. 33, line 41 : 'C. F. Mann', not 'V. F. Mann' 

p. 59, line 37: 'cyanoptera, not 'cyonopterd 

p. 64, line 30: c rufiventris\ not 'rufriventris' 

p. 71, line 30: 'Dicaeutn , not 'Dicaem' 

p. 81, line 44: ' Lagonostictd ', not 'Tagonostictd 

p. 88, line 40: ' Eurystomus\ not l Eury stomas' 

p. 93, line 21: 'Tyrannopsis' , not 'Tyrrannopsis' 

p. 97, line 20: ''indicator', not 'indictaor 

p. 97, line 5 1 : l Sphenoeacus\ not 'Sphenoaeacus* 

p. 98, line 17: 'Trochocercus', not i Trochocerus i 

p. 98, line 45 : '«/^', not '^/hz' 

p. 98, line 47: i hordeaceus\ not ''hordeaced 

p. 109, line 25 : ''Anas acuta*, not '<z/fczj- A.cutd 

p. 119, line 18: 'sharpiV, not 'sharped 

The Caxton & Holmesdale Press, Sevenoaks 

ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 97 No. 1 

March 1977 


The Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held in the Senior Common Room, 
South Side, Imperial College, Prince's Gardens, London, S.W.7 at 5.45 p.m. on Tuesday, 
3 May, 1977. 


1 . Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting. 

2. Report of the Committee and Accounts for 1976. 

3. The. Bulletin. 

4. Election of Officers. 

The Committee proposes that : — 

(a) Mr. P. Hogg be elected Chairman vice Professor J. H. Elgood, who retires on 
completion of his term of office and is ineligible for re-election. 

(b) Dr. G. Beven be elected Vice-Chairman vice Mr. P. Hogg, who retires on 
completion of his term of office and is ineligible for re-election. 

(c) Mr. M. St. J. Sugg be re-elected Hon. Treasurer. 

(d) Mr. R. E. F. Peal be re-elected Hon. Secretary. 

(e) Mr. C. F. Mann be elected a member of the Committee vice Dr. C. J. O. Harrison, 
who retires by rotation. 

(f) Mr. B. Gray be elected a member of the Committee in the event of Dr. G. Beven 
being elected Vice-Chairman. 

5 . Any other business of which notice shall have been given in accordance with Rule (7). 

By Order of the Committee, 

Honorary Secretary. 


Tuesday, 3 May 1977 at 6.15 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. at the Senior Common Room, South Side 
Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance in Prince's Gardens, S.W.7, °ff Exhibition 
Road). A symposium on Asiatic Birds , at which the speakers will include Lord Medway on 
Migrants in Malaysia, Mr. M. W. Woodcock on the Indian Avifauna and Mr. I. C. Orr on 
Ornithology in China. Those wishing to attend must send a cheque for £3 ^45 per person 
to the Hon. Secretary with their acceptance on the enclosed slip. 

Tuesday ; 19 July 1977 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, London, 
W.i, Mr. Stanley Cramp on the Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North 
Africa (The Birds of the Western Palaearctic), Vol. 1 of which is due for publication in June 

J. H. Elgood (Chairman) P. Hogg (Vice-Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal (Hon. Secretary) M. St.J. Sugg (Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk (Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison C. E. Wheeler 

Dr. G. Beven 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol.97 No. 1 Published: 18 March 1977 


In 1976 inflation continued at a headlong rate. This has hit the Club directly 
through much higher costs and indirectly through its dire effect on home 
Members. It is therefore encouraging that 33 new Members joined in the 
year. Resignations numbered five and 11 Members were struck-ofT under 
Rule (4). At the end of the year there were 274 Members and 132 non- 
Member subscribers to the Bulletin up-to-date with their subscriptions. 

Meetings were held in January, March and July at the Goat Tavern in 
Mayfair and in May, September and November in the Senior Common 
Room at Imperial College. We are fortunate as the meals at both venues are 
excellent value (prices for dinner at the Goat having been £z • 10 — £1 -25 and 
at Imperial College £2-95 — £3-25), especially as our numbers are smaller 
than caterers may welcome. At 159, the total attendances at meetings were 
only very slightly down on the previous year and the May meeting, the 
Club's seven hundredth, was a particular success with outstanding speakers 
for a symposium on aspects of African ornithology. 

The size of the Bulletin was reduced to 144 pages, but it is hoped to main- 
tain it at this size in 1977 despite a probable total increase in costs during the 
year of over 1 5 %. The waiting time for publication of papers remains at a 
satisfactory six months or less. The Bulletin is a valuable reference work for 
museums and libraries; information would be welcome from Members 
about institutions, especially in other countries, which might become 
subscribers, since a larger circulation makes possible either a larger Bulletin 
or a lower subscription rate. In this connection, the rates of membership and 
Bulletin subscriptions have risen in the last 10 years by 133% and 150% 
respectively ; but against a harder currency (e.g. the Swiss Franc or the German 
Mark), Sterling at the end of 1976 was only 36% of its value ten years before, so 
for those who pay in such currencies subscription rates are lower than in 1966. 

The accounts for 1976 show an excess of income over expenditure, but 
this does not reflect the true situation as they include money from sources 
other than 1976 subscriptions, some of them outstanding from 1975. Also 
included are many gifts and donations from generous members. 

The Committee has tried to minimise the Club's running costs, but the 
only way to establish a sound financial basis is by increasing income. All 
members can assist by actively encouraging others to join and by covenanting 
their subscriptions if they have not already done so. 

* * * 

The Seven hundred and fourth Meeting of the Club was held at the Goat 
Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, London, W. 1 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 1 8 January, 1 977. 

Chairman: Professor J. H. Elgood; present 19 members and six guests. 

Dr. Peter Ward spoke on Palaearctic migrants in Nigeria. He dealt es- 
pecially with seasonal movements within tropical Africa of a number of 
species which breed only in the Palaearctic region. He showed slides illus- 
trating the extensive nature of these movements and there followed a wide- 
ranging and stimulating discussion. 

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[Bull. B.O.C. 1977- 97(i)] 4 

Four species of birds new to Ethiopia and other notes 

by J. S. Ash 

Received 4 August 1976 

These notes present data on four species of birds new to Ethiopia, and 
additional information about four other species recently found there (Ash 
I 973). 

Eupodotis humilis Little Brown Bustard 

Previously only known from a rather restricted area of northern Somalia 
{ex British Somaliland), this species is now known to occur over a wide area 
of eastern Ethiopia in the Ogaden and to its north. In a journey through the 
Ogaden Oct-Nov 1975 at least 27 birds were seen, 1-6 Nov: — near Godere 
(51 03' N, 43 59' E), 12 birds in an area up to 12 km south, 30 km north 
and 46 km west; El Behid Wells (5 05' N, 43 25' E.), 3 at 5 km east; El 
Adeile Wells (5 03' N, 43 29' R), 4 at 8 km south; El Gigle Wells (5 02' N, 
43 28' E.), 4; Danan (6° 30' N, 43 30' E.), 2 at 14 km east; Kebredehar 
(6° 45' N, 44 17' E.), a pair at 79 km north. The remains of a bird found 
30 km north of Godere on 2 Nov 1975 were of this species (Dr. G. E. 
Watson in litt.) and are deposited in the Smithsonian Institution. As some of 
these localities are along the disputed Ethiopia/Somalia border, the species 
must also occur in the Upper Juba province of Somalia. 

Gerhard Nikolaus travelled through a more western part of the Ogaden 
in October 1975, and reported twice seeing bustards which, from his notes 
made at the time, were undoubtedly this species : — pairs of birds on 7 Oct 
at about 63 km northeast of Imi (6° 28' N, 42 10' E.) and on 9 Oct at 5 km 
west of Dagabur (8° 13' N, 43 33' E.). On 22 Dec 1975, he also saw a lone 
male much further north, at about 30 km south of Aisha (io° 45 ' N, 42 3 5 ' E. 
close to the Somalia/T.F.A.I. border. None was seen on other journeys in 
Nov and Dec through the country to the east of a line Dire Dawa (9 35' N, 
41 52' E.)-Adigalla (io° 25' N, 42 15' E.)-Aisha, and in the country 
between Jijiga (9 20' N, 42 47' E.) and the Somalia border to the northeast 
and east. 

One is obliged to conjecture that the whole of the region under discussion 
has been colonised by this species in the past few years. In September 1971, 
a long journey throughout the Ogaden failed to reveal the species anywhere 
— if it had been as common then as it is now, we could not have failed to see 
it, since it is not an inconspicuous bird in the light open thornbush country 
which it inhabits. Possibly one of the effects of the prolonged drought over 
the whole of this region in recent years has been to drive the species west- 
wards in quest of less arid conditions. 

The diagnostic characters which in conjunction separate it from all other 
bustards were well seen : — small size (even smaller than the Senegal Bustard 
Eupodotis senegalensis) y brown upperparts speckled with black, much more 
heavily marked with black in the $, black spots on the nape of the <£, often 
forming a V, a black chin mottled with white, neck greyish white, breast 
buffish brown, belly white (the underparts of some $$ are mottled with darker 
brown), a long narrow white wing bar, with two black spots at the carpal 
joint in both the closed and open wing, black axillaries, iris yellow brown, 
bill dark reddish at base, legs yellow. 

5 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(01 

Clareola nordmanni Black-winged Pratincole 

On 3 Jan 1970 at Pukwo (8° 12' N, 34 22' E.) on the Baro River in 
Illubabor Privince, western Ethiopia, a flock of 500 pratincoles was seen 
on the far distant side of the river. Some occasionally flew close enough to 
be identified clearly as this species by the colour of their under- wing coverts. 
G. pratincola was not seen. The presence of large numbers of G. nordmanni in 
western Ethiopia has been confirmed subsequently (in lift.)-. — at Itang 
(8° 10' N, 34 14' E.) a short distance further downstream the Baro River on 
9-1 1 Dec 1972 John Farrand, Jr., saw c. 500 G. nordmanni and G. pratincola 
together in about equal numbers. 

G. Nikolaus found 150 pratincoles, mostly nordmanni ', at Itang on 12 Dec 
1972, and later with Hans Rupp, whilst travelling down the Baro into the 
Sudan, saw c. 10,000 pratincoles between Berhane Salam (8° 14' N, 34 01 ' E.) 
and Jekaw (8° 23' N, 33 45' E.) on 29 Jan 1973, both species being present 
in roughly equal numbers. 

This area is clearly an important focus for wintering G. nordmanni, 
isolated by a great distance from the main wintering area in southern Africa 
(Moreau 1972). It is not known to which form the numerous G. pratincola 
belonged and whether they are of the Palaearctic race or one of the African 
races is unknown. G. pratincola also occasionally occurs eastwards along the 
Baro as far as Gambela (8° 15' N, 34 3 5 ' E.), where a bird examined by John 
Farrand and myself on 13 Dec 1972 proved to be G. p. limbata. 

G nordmanni is now known also from much further east. Three birds, 
again clearly identified by their black underwing coverts, flew close past me 
near to the ground on 7 Oct 1972, at Lake Abiata (7 36' N, 3 8° 40' E.) in the 
Ethiopian Rift Valley. G pratincola is the common and widespread pratincole 
in this area, and was first shown to be breeding in Ethiopia only in 1971 
(Ash 1972), either G. p. limbata 01 fuel leborni. A little further north at Koka 
(8° 27' N, 39 06' E.), 2-4 birds were present 21-24 Sep 1975, and Dr. S. J. 
Tyler saw one at the same place on 1 9 Oct. 

Clareola ocularis Madagascar Pratincole 

In an irrigated area along the River Awash at Dubte (1 1° 44' N, 41 ° 05 ' E.) 
in Dancalia, Eastern Ethiopia, a single "rather uniform looking" pratincole 
was seen on 29 Oct 1973 sitting on a mud bank on flooded land, and on close 
approach, the main distinguishing features of this species, the white spots 
behind and below the eye, the absence of a black "necklace" and the almost 
unforked tail, were seen clearly. I have seen this species in hundreds along 
the Kenya coast north of Inalindi. Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1957) 
mention that G. ocularis has been recorded as far north as the southern coast 
of Italian Somaliland, so the present record, the first in Ethiopia, is an ex- 
tension northwards of c. 15 00 km beyond its known non-breeding season 

Chlorocichla flavicollis Yellow-throated Leaf-love 

The suspicion raised, in the description of the first Ethiopian occurences 
(Ash 1973), that this species might prove to be more widespread, has been 
substantiated: — at the original Didessa site (9 02' N, 3 6° 09' E.) 1-3 occur- 
red daily from 18 Jan to 1 Feb 1973 and 1-5 or more daily, 14-28 Feb 1974. 
On 21 Feb 1974, on the Didessa River above the bridge where the Nekempte 
-Gimbi road crosses it, the species was fairly common along the river bank 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 6 

on the forest edge. On 1 Mar 1974, there were at least two birds in trees 
alongside a small stream c. 30 km north of Nekempte at 9 18' N, 36 32' E. 
On 1 2 May 1 974 one was seen and heard singing in gallery woodland, along 
a stream at 1140 m a.s.l. at 22 km along the track from Alem Teferi to 
Dembidollo at c. 8° 5 i' N, 35 08' E, in Illubabor Province. G. Nikolaus and 
H. Rupp kindly let me examine and identify a $ ,which contained a fully 
developed egg, collected by them on 1 Apr 1974 at the Didessa River at 
8° 38' N, 36 26' E, near Argio in Wollega Province. Dr. S. J. Tyler recorded 
the species in 1974 at Angar Gutin (9 37' N, 3 6° 37' E.), also in Wollega. 
There were 2-5 on 7 days at Didessa between 11 and 19 Sep 1975. On 15 
Feb 1976, G. Nikolaus found a juvenile $ at 16 km west of Bure at 8° 17' N, 
35 03' E, and I saw two birds along the River Gilo at Mungum (7 30' N, 
34 27' E.) on 16 Mar 1976; both localities are in Illubabor. 

Measurements are now available for 18 birds, including five retraps, from 
Didessa: — Weight: range 37-0-45-8, mean 40-7^2-79 g. Wing: range 94- 
107, mean 102-8^3-68 mm (13 individuals, excluding the retraps). Repeat 
weights of individual birds have been as follows: 38-8-37-0; 43-7-42-5- 
40-5; 41-4-42-1; 3 8 '3-39' 6 g- 

Bradypterus alfredi Bamboo Warbler 

I have netted this species, new to Ethiopia, four times in three localities in 
Ethiopia. The first was eaten by a Blue-headed Coucal Centropus monachus in 
a mist-net, at Didessa (9 02' N, 3 6° 09 'E.) on 7 Mar 1970; only the head 
could be found, but it was identified in the British Museum by Mr. Derek 
Goodwin as B. alfredi. The second was netted at Bulcha Forest (6° 27' N, 
38 11' E.), 360 km southeast of Didessa, on 10 Jun 1971. The head of this 
bird matched the Didessa specimen exactly, and the key in Mackworth- 
Praed & Grant (1957) also indicated B. alfredi. A third specimen occurred at 
Bulcha on 21 June 1974, and a fourth on 29 Apr 1975 at Gambela (8° 15' N, 
34 35' E.), 200 km southwest of Didessa. The identifications of the last three 
specimens have been confirmed by Dr. G. E. Watson and J. Farrand Jr. at the 
Smithsonian Institution. 

The Gambela site, at 5 25 m a.s.l. is a complex mosaic of riverline marshland 
Combretum\Terminalia savanna, crops, mixed deciduous woodland and native 
habitations. There are no bamboos in the immediate vicinity. The Didessa 
locality, at 1260 m a.s.l. in Shoa Province, was near the bottom of the river 
valley, in tall dead grass in open Combretum\Terminalia woodland, only a few 
miles from bamboo covered hills. The Bulcha locality, at 1320 m a.s.l., in 
Sidamo Province, was on the edge of dense gallery forest in thick bushes 
amongst scattered trees; no bamboos are known within 50 km. All three 
areas would appear to be a typical habitat for the species, and the Ethiopian 
records provide a remarkable extension from the known restricted range 
of the species in western Uganda and western Tanzania. 

A discussion of the identification of the Ethiopian material in relation to 
other species of Bradypterus and with regard to previously described sub- 
species of B. alfredi will appear elsewhere (Watson, Farrand & Ash, in prep.). 

Locustella fluviatilis River Warbler 

Following the previous Ethiopian occurrences (Ash 1973) three further 
examples have been netted. The first, was in thick bushes below trees on the 

7 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(0] 

forest edge at Bulcha (6° 27' N, 3 8° 11' E.), Sidamo Province, on 19 Nov 
1972, weight 19-8 g at 0730, wing 73 mm. Two others were caught at Koka 
(8° 27' N, 39 06' E) in thick lakeside thornbush: — one on 16 Sep 1975, 
weight 16-9 g at 0600, primaries in moult (weight 17-1 g on 18th at 0930); 
and one on 23 Sep 1975, weight 19-6 g at 1800, wing 74 mm. 

The third bird listed in Ash (1973) (wing 69 mm, weight 14-2 g) must be 
deleted, since it has been reidentified as Locus te Ha I. luscinioides : a salutary 
reminder of the care required in separating these two species. 

A summary of the measurements of Ethiopian specimens is now: — 
Weight: range 14-8-19-8, mean 17-8^1-61 g (8 birds); Wing: range 69-77, 
mean 73 • 3 ± 2 • 5 8 mm (6 birds). 

Acrocephalus baeticatus African Reed Warbler 

Following the report of several specimens in 1 970-1 972 in two Ethiopian 
localities (Ash 1973), it is of particular interest to record four more examples, 
of which three are from new localities. Two were collected by G. Nikolaus 
and H. Rupp 20 km northeast of Bonga at 7 23' N, 3 6° 20' E in KafFa 
Province on 25/26 Mar 1974. My identification as A. baeticatus cinnamomeus 
has been confirmed at the Smithsonian Institution. As both were in breeding 
condition, it is possible that they were about to breed in the immediate 
area in which they were collected. Another bird was caught at Koka, one of 
the original sites, on 28 May 1975 (wing 54 mm, weight 7-6 g), and another 
at a new locality, Gambela (8° 15' N, 34 35' E.) on 20 Apr 1975 (wing 56 
mm, weight 6-2 g). The measurements of Ethiopian A. baeticatus are as 
follows: Wing, range 54-58, mean 5 5 , 9i I * 2 5 mm (8 birds); Weight, range 
6-2-8-1, mean 7-6^0-56 g (11 birds). 

Fry et a/. (1974) consider A. baeticatus and A. dumetorum to be conspecific. 
Smith's (1964) record from the Eritrean mangroves, which now needs to be 
included in this category, was one of many singing there, and had enlarged 
testes at the end of January. When I was on Seek Said Island (15 36' N, 
39 28' E.) off Massawa, on 28 Dec 1972, there were several unstreaked 
Acrocephaline warblers actively displaying and singing in the mangroves. 
I assumed these were Smith's A. dumetorum, but was unable to revisit the 
site owing to the political situation. Brother Edmund Johnson managed to 
visit the island on 7 Jan 1976 and very kindly obtained a specimen for me. 
This bird is not A. dumetorum, and does not agree with any known Acro- 
cephalus, although it is nearest to A. agricola. Kumerloeve (1974) describes 
another Acrocephalus of unkown association from Ethiopia and all these will 
be discussed elsewhere. 

At the best, A. baeticatus must be rare in the Ethiopian localities away 
from coastal mangroves, for only these few specimens have been seen in the 
course of several months of intensive work at all seasons over a period of 
seven years in the localities mentioned. With the exception of the November 
record, all the others fall between 13 Mar and 28 May; with the probability 
of breeding near Bonga, there is a strong suggestion that this bird is an 
intertropical migrant only present in the country for a short time of the year. 

Phylloscopus sibilatrix Wood Warbler 

Ash (1973) describes the first Ethiopian record of this species. Two more 
were watched in the Gibe gorge (8° 14' N, 37 35' E.), Shoa Province, on 5 
Nov 1972. They were feeding actively with a small party of ChifFchafFs 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 8 

Phylloscopus collybita in a leafy tree, where they were observed closely on two 
occasions during the day. 

Corvus splendens Indian House Crow 

There has been doubt about the identification of crows occuring in 
Massawa (15 35' N, 39 29' E.) on the Ethiopian Red Sea Coast (Boswall 
1 97 1, Urban & Brown 1971). During a visit there, 26-28 Dec 1972, up to 50 
C. splendens were seen daily in the town. Their blackish face masks deep 
grey necks, and blackish wings distinguished them from Brown-necked 
Ravens Corvus ruficollis with which apparently they had been confused 
previously. During brief and limited visits to Eritra I have not seen any 
ravens except around Assab (13 02' N, 42 35' E.). Smith (1957) did not 
record them north of Thio (14 41' N, 40 56' E.) and it seems unlikely that 
over the course of a few years Massawa was populated by a large number of 
C. ruficollis, which were replaced by similar numbers of C. splendens in less 
than three years. Dr. A. S. Cheke (in litt.) recorded C splendens in Djibouti 
in 1966 and I found them to be fairly common there in December 1975. It is 
curious that it has not colonised Assab in Ethiopia, a port lying halfway 
between the above-mentioned towns. 

Corvus ruficollis Brown-necked Raven 

Urban & Brown (1971) accept the Brown-necked Raven from Assab 
recorded by Beals (1966) as C. r. ruficollis \ but birds I saw in September 1974 
consorting with Pied Crows C. albus, appeared to be C r. edithae, which 
is common over much of lowland Ethiopia. Smith (1957) thought that all 
these northern birds were referable to edithae, and one I collected on 9 Jun 
1974, 20 miles north of Gewani (io° io' N, 40 38' E.) was confirmed as such 
by Dr. G. E. Watson at the Smithsonian Institution. 


I am grateful to the following: Dr. A. S. Cheke, J. Farrand Jr., G. Nikolaus, H. Rupp, 
and Dr. S. J. Tyler, for making their observations available to me; to J. Farrand, D. 
Goodwin, Dr. D. W. Snow, and Dr. G. E. Watson for their good services in identifying 
material ; to Brother Edmund Johnson for presenting me with the Acrocephalus specimens ; 
to Drs. J. F. Monk, C. K. Wallace and G. E. Watson for comments on drafts of this paper. 

The observations in this paper were made in the course of research supported in part by 
the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and the Office of Naval Research under Contract No. 
N00014-67-A-0399-0009 and Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Work Unit MR041.09. 
01.0014. The opinions and assertions contained therein are those of the author and do not 
necessarily reflect the official views of the Navy Department or of the Naval Service at 

References : 

Ash, J. S. 1972. Charadriiform birds in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Walia 4: 14-18. 

— 1973. Six species of birds new to Ethiopia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93 : 3-6. 

Beals, E. W. 1966. Eight additions to the avifaunal list of Ethiopia./. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. 

Soc. 25, No. 3 (112): 227-229. 
Boswall, J. 1 971. Notes from coastal Eritrea on selected species. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 91: 

Fry, C. H., Williamson, K. & Ferguson-Lees, I. J. 1974. A new sub-species of Acrocephalus 

baeticatus from Lake Chad and a taxonomic reappraisal of Acrocephalus dumetorum. Ibis 

116: 340-346. 
Kumerloeve, H. 1974. Uber die Balgsammlung Ludwig Graf von Huyns und weiteres 

athiopisches vogelmaterial im Zoologischen Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexan- 
der Koenig. Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 25 : 56-57. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1957. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern Africa. 

London: Longmans. 

9 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 

Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London: Academic 

Smith, K. D. 1957. An annotated list of the birds of Eritrea. Ibis 99: 1-26, 307-337. 
— 1964. Acrocephalus dumetorum in Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 84: 172. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 

Haile Sellassie I University Press. 
Watson, G. E. & Ash, J. S. In prep. The affinities of a species of Acrocephalus in Ethiopian 

and Sudanese mangroves. 
Watson, G. E., Farrand, J. & Ash, j. S. In prep. Bradypterus alfredi in Ethiopia, with a 

reappraisal of the species and its races. 

Address: Medical Ecology Division, NAMRU-5, c/o American Embassy, P.O. Box 1014, 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

New nesting records for Riippell's Griffon Gyps ruppellii 

in West Africa 

by Arthur A. Green 

Received 10 March iyy6 

Although Riippell's Griffon Gyps ruppellii is widely distributed in West 
Africa, Bannermann (1953) could not quote reliable breeding data. Serle 
(1943) visited the inselberg (a granite outcropping) at Kotorkoshi in Sokoto 
Province, northwestern Nigeria, in September 1939 where he found over 100 
Riippell's Griffons in the evening. Villagers told him that they nested there 
in February. Dobbs (1959) said they nested there in February 1948, but gave 
no details. Morel & Morel (1962) gave the first definite record for West 
Africa: two nests, each with a single egg, in December 1961 in the Senegal 
Valley. The breeding site at Kotorkoshi was confirmed by Mundy & Cook 
(1973) when they saw and photographed three chicks there in February 1971, 
and when they photographed another chick there in March 1972 (1974a). 
They also reported (1974b) a nesting colony of at least a dozen nests with 
incubating birds in late December on the inselberg at the entrance to Waza 
National Park, northern Cameroon. This note records two other breeding 
sites from West Africa, and in addition I have been informed of three 
nesting sites (as yet unpublished) from Mali and Senegal. 

From March 1972 to April 1975 I was carrying out ecological surveys in 
Arli National Park, which together with adjoining wildlife reserves occupy 
over 7000 km 2 of southeastern Upper Volta. The Park lies within the Sudan 
Savanna zone. About 1000 mm of rain falls annually between May and late 
September, and the dry season is long and severe. This sparsely settled region 
is well endowed with big game, and vulture food is abundant. Riippell's 
Griffons are found in the Park throughout the year, usually in company 
with the more numerous White-backed Vulture Pseudogyps africanus. 

In March 1972 a nesting colony of Riippell's Griffons was found just 
outside the Park boundary at Pagou (n° 40' N, i° 28' E), a mesa of 2 km 2 
which rises with sheer cliffs 150m above the plain. A few hundred metres 
north of Pagou is a 130 m high sandstone butte on which 8-12 birds nest 
each year. In March 1972 four nests were inspected, and two contained 
single young birds. Breeding was recorded during the following three years. 
Nesting generally begins in November, with most eggs hatching during the 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 10 

first three weeks of December (although one nest produced a chick in mid- 
January 1975). Young birds leave the nest between late March and early 
May. When an observer visits a nest, adult birds soar overhead until after 
his departure. Chicks under six weeks of age exhibit no fear of Man, but 
older ones cower against the cliff face or thrust their heads into crevices. 

At the four accessible nests, during four seasons the nesting success was 
only about 25 %. Baboon predation accounted for a few of the failures. Nests 
on higher ledges were better protected, and nesting success was probably 

In November 1974 I noticed Ruppell's Griffons soaring above the 150 m 
high sandstone cliffs of the escarpment at Tambarga (n° 27' N, i° 13' E) 
about 36 km southwest of Pagou. Villagers reported that vultures nested 
there annually. In March 1975 I climbed to three nests. The young birds in 
two nests seemed about ready to fly, but the third chick appeared to be only 
about 6 weeks old. Three other, inaccessible, nests were seen; there were 
probably others. During my visit about 25 adults soared overhead. 

There are other mesa and escarpment cliffs in this region which may also 
yield nesting colonies of RiippelPs Griffons, and it is probable that the 
species is a common, although local, breeder in West Africa as a whole. 

References : 

Banner man, D. A. 1953. Birds of West and Equatorial Africa. Vol. 2. Oliver and Boyd, 

Dobbs, K. A. 1959. Some birds of Sokoto. Part 1. Niger. Fid. 24: 102-118. 
Morel, G. & Morel, M. Y. 1962. La reproduction des oiseaux dans une region semi-aride: 

la vallee du Senegal (suite). Alauda 30: 241-269. 
Mundy, P. J. & Cook, A. W. 1973. Sokoto Province, part 3, Kotorkoshi. Bull. Niger. Orn. 

Soc. 8 : 46-47. 

— 1974a. Sokoto Province, part 4, excluding the Sokoto town area. Bull. Niger. Orn. Soc. 
9: 18-21. 

— 1974b. Waza, Cameroon — access and avifauna. Bull. Niger. Orn. Soc. 9: 16-18. 
Serle, W. 1943. Further field observations on Northern Nigerian birds. Ibis 85 : 264-300. 

Address : Voluntaire Americain, B.P.^II,*Tanguieta, Republique Populaire du Benin, 
West Africa. 

The Orange Ground-thrush Turdus tanganjicae (Sassi) 

a valid species 

by A. Prigogine 

Received 28 f une 1976 
The African ground-thrushes of the former genus Geokichla have for a long 
time puzzled the systematists because the differences between the species are 
so small. Thus, Geokichla piaggiae was considered by Sclater (1930) as a race 
of Geokichla gurneyi. The rare Geokichla oberlaenderi was treated first as a race 
of G. gurneyi (Sclater 1930), later as a race of G. piaggiae (Mackworth-Praed & 
Grant 1937). It was even supposed that oberlaenderi might be the female and 
G. crossleyi pilettei the male of a single species (see Chapin 1953). Some years 
ago I showed (Prigogine 1965) that, in accordance with Bannerman (1936) and 
White (1962), crossleyi must be considered as a raceW G. gurneyi and that the 
bird described by Sassi (1914) as G.princei graueri, regarded by Chapin (1953) 
as an immature G. princei batesi, represents in reality the eastern race of G. 
cameronensis, as already suggested by Sclater (1930). 

ii [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 

When Macdonald (1949) described Geokichla piaggiae williamsi, only the 
type-specimen, collected by J. G. Williams on Mt. Muhavura, southwest 
Uganda, was available to him. But, after comparing this bird with the ex- 
tensive series of the orange ground-thrushes in the collection of the British 
Museum, he found its differences with all known races of G. piaggiae, i.e. 
nominate piaggiae, hadii, kilimensis and rowei, sufficiently great to warrant 
description of williamsi from a single specimen. Macdonald also asked Sassi 
to compare his unique bird with the type of oberlaenderi, then considered a 

Figure 1 . Distribution of Turdus piaggiae and Turdus tanganjicae in East and central Africa. 

race of piaggiae. It seems that Sassi did not at the same time compare Mac- 
donald's specimen with the type of G. gurneji tanganjicae, a name put in the 
synonymy of G. piaggiae (Sclater 1930), although the specimen was also in 
the collection of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. 

The new race was not accepted by all specialists in African ornithology. 
Chapin (1953) noted that williamsi would seem to require confirmation, and 
White (1962) put williamsi in synonymy with nominate piaggiae. On the other 
hand, williamsi is listed by Deignan et al. (1964) in Peter's Check-list of Birds 
of the World as a race of Zoothera piaggiae. 

The sub-specific status of Turdus piaggiae in Zaire has remained confusing. 
Schouteden (1954) first admitted the presence of two races, nominate piaggiae 

[Bull. B JO. C. 1977- 97(0] 12 

and williamsi, but later considered all specimens as williamsi (Schouteden 

Having collected a long series of orange ground-thrushes supposed to 
belong to T. piaggiae in eastern Zaire, especially in the Itombwe Mts., I had 
noticed that, on several specimens, the crown and the whole upperparts were 
olive, less rufous than on the others, but I had assigned these colour differen- 
ces to individual variation or to immaturity (Prigogine 1971). Recently I had 
the opportunity to study almost all specimens collected in the montane 
forests along the Albertine Rift and this leads me to draw the following 
conclusions : 

1. Most specimens have a rufous head and nape contrasting with the 
more olive mantle, and the rump and upper tail-coverts rufous brown also in 
contrast with the mantle. These specimens correspond to williamsi and they 
have been found at the following locations : Impenetrable Forest (Friedmann 
& Williams 1968, Keith & Twomey 1968, Keith et al. 1969), Virunga 
Volcanoes (Schouteden 1938, Macdonald 1949), Nyungwe (former Rugege) 
Forest (Schouteden 1966, Kunkel & Kunkel 1969, Prigogine & Vande weghe 
in prep.), Kahuzi Range, Itombwe Mts. (Sassi 1914, Schouteden 1969, 
Prigogine 1971) and Mt. Kabobo (Verheyen 1947, Prigogine i960). All 
localities from which I have examined specimens of williamsi are shown on 

2. Other specimens, with the rufous colour limited to the forehead, with 
a more brownish or olive crown and nape passing gradually to the olive 
brown mantle, and with the rump and upper tail-coverts of about the same 
colour as the mantle, correspond to T. piaggiae. They have been collected in 
the following regions: Lendu Plateau*, Ruwenzori (Jackson 1906, Ogilvie- 
Grant 1 910, van Someren & van Someren 1949, Friedmann & Williams 1968), 
Kahuzi Range (Schouteden 1969) and Itombwe Mts. (Schouteden 1954, 
Prigogine 1971). The localities of all examined specimens are also shown in 
Fig. 1. 

3. The williamsi type and the piaggiae type have both been found on two 
mountain ranges as follows: 

Kahuzi Range : williamsi at Bitale ; piaggiae at Mumba. 

Itombwe Mts. : williamsi at Ibachilo, Luiko, Musangakye, Mutombwe, 
Tubangwa, "Urwald westlich von Tanganyika See"; 
piaggiae at Mt. Kandashomwa, Kilumba, Kitoga, 
Sibatwa, "80 km westlich von Russisi", "120 km west- 
lich von Tanganika", "Ruzizi-Kivu". 

4. In all localities of these two ranges where two or three specimens have 
been secured, as at Ibachilo, Mt. Kandashomwa, Kilumba, Kitoga, Luiko 
and Mumba, they all belong either to williamsi or to piaggiae. There appears 
to be an altitudinal segregation of the two forms on these mountain ranges, 
williamsi being confined to lower altitudes, between 1530 and 2040 m, while 
piaggiae is restricted to higher altitudes, between 2090 and 2760 m. 

5 . Turdus p. piaggiae and similar populations from East Africa and central 
Africa are characterized by a high tail/wing ration varying from 78 • 4 to 86 • 1 
percent with a mean of 82-2 percent (Table 1). It must be emphasized in 

*This juvenile specimen from Mt. Wago had been previously misidentified as G. gurneyi 
pilettei (Prigogine 1965). 


[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 





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[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(0] 14 

particular that the "olive" birds from Kahuzi and Itombwe have exactly 
the same high value for this ratio as other specimens of this species (see 
Table 1). On the other hand, williamsi has a small tail/wing ratio varying from 
70 • o to 78 • 2 percent with an average of 74 • 2 percent (Table 2). 

6. I have not found specimens with intermediate characteristics. 

In view of the clear morphological differences and the distribution (Fig. 1), 
it appears best to regard williamsi and piaggiae as specifically distinct. There 
remains, however, a problem of nomenclature. When he published the 
description of williamsi, Macdonald (1949) overlooked the fact that a similar 
bird had been described in 191 4 by Sassi as Geokichla gurneji tanganjicae. 
Thanks to the extreme kindness of Dr. H. Schifter I was able to examine 
the type of tanganjicae. It is indeed a juvenile "rufous headed" bird. In 
consequence, Turdus williamsi (Macdonald) is a synonym of Turdus tanganjicae 
(Sassi) and the new species must take this name. 

Thus, two species of orange ground-thrush inhabit some of the mountain 
ranges along the Albertine Rift : 

Turdus piaggiae, a widespread species, distributed from Ethiopia to Tan- 
zania, but found also on Lendu Plateau, Ruwenzori, Kahuzi and Itombwe ; 

Turdus tanganjicae, a more localized species, recorded from the Impenetrable 
Forest, the Virunga Volcanoes, the Nyungwe Forest and the Kahuzi Range 
south to Mt. Kabobo. 

The two species live in proximity, but are altitudinally separated in the 
Kahuzi and Itombwe ranges. Their altitudinal distribution is characterized 

follows (Prigogine 1975): — 

T. piaggiae 

T. tanganjicae 

Number of specimens 



Mean altitude 

2390 m 

1865 m 

Normal altitudinal limits 

2100-2760 m 

1660-1980 m 

Altitudinal limits 

2090-2760 m 

1530-2040 m 

On the other hand, Macdonald's type of williamsi (= tanganjicae) was 
collected at 2900 m, an exceptionally high altitude for this species. The first 
specimen known from the Virunga Volcanoes was secured at Burambi, also 
at the unusually high altitude of 2325 m. Thus, where T. piaggiae seems to be 
absent, as on the Virunga, T. tanganjicae ascends to higher altitudes. Likewise, 
only T. piaggiae has been recorded from the Ruwenzori Range where it has 
been collected principally between 1800 and 2700 m. A young male was 
obtained even at 1700 m, at Burusi (Prigogine 1965). Thus, on Ruwenzori 
where T. tanganjicae is not present, T. piaggiae comes down to lower levels 
than on the Itombwe and Kahuzi Mts. 

The altitudinal separation in these ranges may thus indicate competition 
and mutual exclusion of two species of very similar measurements, presum- 
ably due to food and other ecological requirements. 

As T. piaggiae and T. tanganjicae seem confined to different altitudes on the 
two mountain ranges where they are sympatric and are allopatric elsewhere, 
they can be considered as members of a superspecies. 

Acknowledgements: I like to express my gratitude for the loan of material to Chr. Erard, 
J. Farrand, I. C. J. Galbraith, A. Goepel, G. Mauersberger, J. R. Northern, H. Schifter, 
D. W. Snow, M. A. Traylor and H. E. Wolters. I am particularly indebted to J. Farrand 
and M. P. S. Irwin who sent detailed descriptions of specimens in the collections of the 
American Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Rhodesia respectively. 
P. Devillers kindly commented on my manuscript. 

i 5 [Bull.B.O.C.i 977 : 91 (i)] 

References : 
Bannerman, D. A. 1936. The Birds of Tropical West Africa. Vol. IV. London: The Crown 

Agents for the Colonies. 
Chapin, J. P. 1953. The birds of the Belgian Congo. Part 3. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 

75A: 1-786. 
Deignan, H. G., Paynter, R. A. & Ripley, S. D. 1964. Turdinae in Peters' Check-list of Birds 

of the World. Vol. X. Cambridge: Museum of Comparative Zoology. 
Friedmann, H. & Williams, J. G. 1968. Notable records of rare or little-known birds from 

western Uganda. Rev. Zool. Bot. afr. 77: 11-36. 
Jackson, J. J. 1906. On a collection of birds made by Geoffrey Archer during a journey to 

the Ruwenzori Range. Ibis 6: 505-570. 
Keith, S. & Twomey, A. 1968. New distributional records of some East African birds. Ibis 

no: 537-548. 
Keith, S., Twomey, A., Friedmann, H. & Williams, J. G. 1969. The avifauna of the 

Impenetrable Forest. Amer. Mus. Nov. 2389 : 1-41. 
Kunkel, I. & Kunkel, P. 1969. Contribution a la connaissance de l'avifaune de la foret du 

Rugege (Rwanda). Rev. Zool. Bot. afr. 74: 327-351. 
Macdonald, J. D., 1949. A new race of Orange Thrush from Uganda. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

69: 16. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1937. Systematic notes on East African birds. 

Part XVI. 37. On the Orange Thrushes of eastern Africa. Ibis 1 (ser. 14) : 874-877. 
Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. 19 10. Aves in Ruwenzori expedition reports. 16. Trans. Zool. Soc. 

London 19(4): 253-481. 
Prigogine, A. i960. La faune ornithologique du massif du mont Kabobo. Ann. Mus. rqy. 

Congo, 8°, Sc. zool. 85: 1-46. 

— 1965. Notes sur quelques Geokichla de la Republique du Congo. Rev. Zool. Bot. afr. 71 : 

— 1971. Les oiseaux de lTtombwc et de son hinterland. Ann. Mus. rqy. Afr. Centr., 8°, 
Sc. zool. 185 : 1-298. 

— 1975. Contribution a l'etude de la distribution verticale des oiseaux orophiles. Gerfaut 
64: 75-88. 

Prigogine, A. & Vande weghe, J. P. In prep. L'avifaune de la foret de Nyungwe. 

Sassi, M. 1914. Einige neue Formcn der innerafrikanischen Ornis aus der Kollektion 

Grauer. An%. k. Akad. Wiss. Wien 51: 308-312. 
Schouteden, H. 1938. Oiseaux in Exploration du Pare National Albert. Mission G. F. de Witte 

(1933-193 /)• Bruxelles: Institut des Pares Nationaux du Congo beige. 

— 1954. De Vogels van Belgisch Congo en van Ruanda-Urundi. VI. Passeriformes (1). 
Ann. Mus. rqy. Congo, beige. C. Zool. Serie IV. Vol. 1, fasc. 1 : 1-226. 

— 1966. La faune ornithologique du Burundi. Doc. %pol. Mus. rqy. Afr. Centr. n : 1-8 1. 

— 1969. La faune ornithologique du Kivu. II. Passereaux. Doc. %pol. Mus. rqy. Afr. 
Centr. 15 : 1-188. 

Sclater, W. L. 1930. Sy sterna avium Aethiopicarum. II. London: Taylor and Francis. 

van Someren, V. G. L. & van Someren, G. R. C. 1949. The birds of Bwamba. Uganda fourn. 
13, spec, suppl.: i-iii. 

Verheyen, R., 1947. Liste d'une collection d'oiseaux rares reunie a Albertville. Bull. Mus. 
rqy. Hist. nat. Belg. 24 (9): 1-4. 

White, C. M. N. 1962. A Revised Check-list of African shrikes, orioles, etc. Lusaka: Govern- 
ment Printer. 

Address: Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Rue Vautier 31, B-1040 
Bruxelles, Belgium. 

Euplectes diadematus and Colliuspasser axillaris 
breeding in Somalia 

by Larry C. Holcomb 

Received 13 August 1976 
Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1955) could give no breeding records of 
Euplectes diadematus except one in breeding condition in April in Kenya. 
Williams (1962) and Van Someren (1971) have since reported definite 
breeding in Kenya. Williams stated that the species has a restricted distribution 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 16 

that includes eastern districts of Somalia, but gave no evidence for breeding 
in Somalia, although R. G. Allan has suggested to me that this species 
has probably nested near Mogadiscio. 

During and following the long rains of 1975, 1 found E. diadematus nesting 
in Somalia, 10 km south of Afgoye, in and around the periphery of an 
irrigated rice scheme. Two displaying males were collected on 2 1 July, when 
at least 30 other males were seen, but no females. At 0830 on 12 August I 
found a nest with one egg, 24 cm above the ground in a tight tangle of grass 
in a fallow field. The female remained nearby. At 0915 on 16 August, the 
same nest held three eggs with dimensions between the ranges of 1 3 • o x 
17-7 mm. The nest and eggs were collected. 

On 8 September 1975, in a 100 m stretch of ground lying along an irri- 
gation ditch between two rice fields I found seven Euplectes orix nests and 
two Euplectes diadematus nests. The E. orix nests were 30 to 1 5 o cm above the 
ground, firmly woven and built in large annual plants and small bushes. In 
contrast the diadematus nests were not more than 30 cm above the ground 
built into the top of the mat of dense vegetation. The orix nests contained 
eggs or nestlings. One nest o£ diadematus contained three eggs and the other 
contained five eggs and two nestlings which were 7-8 days old. I cannot 
account for the mixture of eggs and nestlings in the same nest and since these 
eggs were not opened, the time of laying was not determined. Seven eggs 
would be quite exceptional for one female of E. diadematus. There is a 
possibility that this was a nest in which more than one female laid eggs. The 
C/3 eggs weighed 1 • 5 g, dimensions between the ranges of 12-8 x 18 -i 
mm. The two diadematus nests were about 5 o m apart, one of them within 
3 m of two orix nests. These details of clutch size, eggs, egg size and nests 
agree with Williams (1962) and Van Someren (1971), but whereas in southern 
Somalia E. diadematus breeds at least in August and September, breeding in 
Kenya occurs in January and May. 

I agree with Van Someren (1971) that diadematus appears to be monoga- 
mous; but he also reported competition between diadematus and orix for 
herbaceous plants to use as nest sites or territorial posts for males, whereas 
the difference in the niche which I observed for diadematus nests (ie. at the 
top of a grass mat) and those of orix (higher above the ground and in annual 
plants and small bushes) suggests that if there is adequate suitable habitat 
these two species may co-exist without competition. 

The crop and stomach of 14 male and 5 female E. diadematus collected 
between 26 July and 24 September contained only small grass seeds (perhaps 
Echinochlod). Although orix was frequently observed feeding on rice there 
was no evidence of diadematus doing so. 

In the same area I also found Colliuspasser axillaris (probably C. a. phoeni- 
ceus) breeding during and following the long rains of 1975. There was one 
territorial male every o- 5-1 • 5 hectares throughout six 36-ha fields of irri- 
gated rice. Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1955) give no breeding or distri- 
bution records for Somalia. 

My first sight of the species was in mid-July. One male was collected in 
full breeding condition on 21 July and one nest with three eggs and supported 
by rice stems was found on 1 5 August. Another nest, also supported by rice 
stems, was found on 8 October containing three nestlings, nearly ready to 

i 7 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 

All six males and two females collected 1 August-8 October had been 
eating rice from the cultivated fields. Six of these individuals were eating 
small grass seeds and insects in addition to the rice. 

To my knowledge no one has reported nesting in grain fields. The des- 
cription of Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1955) was of nesting in grass tufts 
over water, not significantly different from conditions in which I found them 
except that in cultivated fields the irrigation water would be present only 
periodically, and the nests were not grouped. 

These observations were made whilst I was engaged in work for the Food and Agricul- 
ture Organization of the United Nations, RAF 73/055 'Research into Control of Grain- 
eating Birds' and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Somali Democratic Republic. I thank 
R. G. Allan and J.J. Jackson for comments on this paper. 

References : 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1955. African Handbook of Birds. Series 1, 

Vol. 2. London: Longmans, 
van Someren, G. R. C. 1971. Euplectes diadematus Fischer and Reichenow; Courtship, nests 

and eggs. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 91 : 119-121. 
Williams, J. G. 1962. An addition to our knowledge of Euplectes diadematus. Bull. Brit. Orn. 
CI. 82: 172-173. 

Address: UNDP-FAO, Box 24, Mogadiscio, Somalia. 

Re-discovery of the Andean Condor Vultur gryphus 

in Venezuela 

by B. Zonjrillo 

Received 2) September 1976 
Phelps & Phelps (1958) summarise the published records of Andean Condor 
Vultur gryphus in Venezuela as " . . . known in the country by two specimens 
in the British Museum, from the cordillera de los Andes near Merida, the 
most recent collected around the year 191 2, according to Swann 1921 ". De 
Schauensee (1971) re-iterates this information and, more recently, Alden 
(1975) recommends excluding the species as occurring in Venezuela. 

On 7 July 1976, on the road from Merida to Jaji, near the waterfall at La 
Chorrera (30 km from Merida), R. A. Jeffrey, G. T. White, E. M. & R. W. 
Forrester and myself sighted a condor flying along the mist-enshrouded 
cliffs above the waterfall. Later, on a wooded cliff face, about 3 km nearer 
Jaji, we saw two Andean Condors on a broad, recessed cliff ledge where they 
had just landed. Both birds were adult, one a male. For a while the wings 
were spread in typical vulture pose, showing the large silvery-grey patches 
on the upper wing surfaces. The head wattle of the male was visible when 
viewed with a 5 5 X telescope. When soaring, the white neck ruff was the 
most distinctive feature, even at considerable distance. In the air, the big birds 
appeared very manoeuverable, dangling the talons when banking prior to 
landing. After taking off, one Condor showed considerable aggression 
towards a Black Vulture Coragyps atratus, which it dwarfed completely. The 
birds were photographed in the air and at rest, at ranges down to 200 m. 
After soaring around for some time both Condors flew out of sight. 

It is not known if the 191 2 birds were breeding. The birds at La Chorrera 
appeared to be on a ledge suitable for breeding but no signs of nesting were 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 18 

visible. The nearest known breeding localities of V, gryphus are the Santa 
Marta Mts. and Andes of Colombia, where the species is described as "rare 
and local". These Condors are probably recent newcomers to this area of 
Venezuela, as it seems unlikely that such large birds would remain unseen 
for any length of time, particularly so near to a well-used road. 

My thanks are due to Dr. Chris Parrish of Caracas for his help with research 
and translation. 

References : 

Alden, P. 1975. A Checklist of the Birds of Venezuela — with amendments. Printed privately. 

Phelps, W. H. & Phelps, W. H. Jnr., 1958. Lista de Las Aves de Venezuela con su distri- 

bucion. Bol. Soc. Vene^plana Cienc. Naturales II, Part 1 (Non Passeriformes). 
de Schauensee, R. Meyer 1971. The Birds of South America. Oliver & Boyd. 
Swann, H. K. 1921. Notes on a collection of Accipitres from the Merida District, west 

Venezuela. Auk. 38: 357-364. 

Address: 28 Brodie Road, Glasgow, G21 3 SB, Scotland. 

The Blue Rock Thrush of East Asia, 
Monticola solitarius philippensis (Muller), in the Moluccas 

by Eberhard J any 

Received 11 October 1976 
The subspecies of the Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius breeding in 
eastern Asia from Japan and Ussuriland (Soviet Union) to N. China and 
Taiwan is M. s. philippensis (Muller). The northern populations migrate and 
winter from Thailand in the north eastward to the Palau Islands (i.e. Koror, 
c. 1 34 35' E), and in the south, as far as we know, to the islands between 
Banda Sea and Arafura Sea (to c. 132 E). The Moluccas, situated directly 
south of the main breeding area of northeast Asia between Japan and 
Manchuria, are in the middle of the southern island groups and seem to be 
favoured winter quarters of the Blue Rock Thrush — which is one of the 24 
northern species wintering there (Mayr 1953) — and which provide a pro- 
fusion of coastal habitats, shores and banks, the species' known ecological 
preference in Japan (Jahn 1942, Austin & Kuroda 1953). 

Dutch zoologists in particular have visited the Moluccas at different times. 
References to the Blue Rock Thrush by van Bemmel (1948) concern Hal- 
mahera, Ternate, Tidore, and Sulabesi in the North Moluccas, and in the 
South Moluccas Buru, Ambelau, Amboina, and Kur in the Watubela group, 
to which can now be added Pulau Tapa, between Batjan and Obi. 

G. A. L. de Haan visited the North Moluccas in 1952 and 1953, and 
A. M. R. Wegner in 1953 (see Jany 1954, 1955), when the avifauna was hardly 
known. When I received the collection made by De Haan, skin no. 1927 was 
wrongly labelled as a cuckoo-shrike (Campephagidae), and I now find it is 
a juvenile male Blue Rock Thrush, shot in the Kampong Tapa on Pulau Tapa 
on 9 Nov 1953 (Fig. 1). It weighed 53 g, wing 121 mm, the iris was dark 
brown, bill and legs black. The plumage colour corresponded more or less 
with that of the juvenile male in plate 16 in Kobayashi (1956), though the 
chestnut underparts are much more limited. The Pulau Tapa bird was not 
nearly so dark as the adult male illustrated in King et al. (1975 : plate 5 1). 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1977- 97(i)] 

The body feathers are new, those of wing and tail badly worn. This stage 
of moult in November resembles more or less that of birds in October from 
Bum (Siebers 1930) and in February from North Clelebes (Stresemann 1941). 
We can assume therefore that the body feathers are moulted before or during 
the winter, but that wing and tail feathers are moulted later, on the breeding 

The wing lengths of male birds from Buru and Pulau Tapa vary between 
121 and 1 2 5 mm. These measurements fall within the range given by Vaurie 

Fig. 1. Juvenile 6* Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius pbilippensis from Pulau Tapa 
(north of Obi, Molluccas), 9 Nov. 1953, leg. G. A. L. De Haan. 

(1955) from Manchuria to the Philippines (1 16-128 mm), with no visible 
cline, and from Japan (1 1 5-129 mm) published by Kobayashi (1956). Though 
Vaurie demonstrates this with detailed measurements he also states (1959: 
358) "In pbilippensis, the populations from the north have a longer wing, 
and a cline of decreasing size runs from north to south". 

The Blue Rock Thrush arrives for the Moluccan winter in October and 
stays at least to the end of March. For Brunei, in N. Borneo (Kalimantan), 
Smythies (i960) gives 18 Oct to 19 Apr. In Japan the Blue Rock Thrush 
starts to sing in March (Jahn 1942) or April (Austin & Kuroda 1953), which 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 20 

suggests that this species migrates north from the Moluccas to its breeding 
grounds in northeast Asia over a very short period, either directly north via 
the Philippines or more northeasterly via the west Pacific. 

References : 

Austin, O. L. & Kuroda, N. 1953. The Birds of Japan. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv. Coll. 

(Cambr., Mass.) 109: 277-637. 
Bemmel, A. C. V. van. 1948. A faunal list of the birds of the Moluccan Islands. Treubia 

(Bogor) 19: 323-402. 
Jahn, H. 1942. Zur Okologie und Biologie der Vogel Japans. Journ.f. Orn. 90: 1-302. 
Jany, E. 1954. Nachricht iiber eine Sammelreise von A. M. R. Wegner nach den Inseln 

Batjan, Obi und Majau 1953. Journ.f. Orn. 95: 429. 
— ■ 1955. Neue Vogel-Formen von den Nord-Molukken./cwv?./. Orn. 96 : 102-106. 
King, B. F., Dickinson, E. C. & Woodcock, M. W. 1975. A Field Guide to the Birds of 

South- East Asia. London: Collins. 
Kobayashi, K. 1956. Birds of Japan in Natural Colours. Osaka: Hoikusha. (Japanese). 
Mayr, E. 1953. On the origin of bird migration in the Pacific. Proc. 7th Pacific Sc. Congr. 4: 

Siebers, H. C. 1930. Fauna Buruana, Aves. Treubia (Bogor) 7, Suppl.: 164-303. 
Smythies, B. E. i960. The Birds of Borneo. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Stresemann, E. 1941. Die Vogel von Celebes (c). Die Zugvogel. Journ. f Orn. 89: 69-102. 
Vaurie, C. 195 5. Systematic notes on Palearctic birds, no. 14. Amer. Mus. Nov. 173 1 : 21-23. 
— 1959. The Birds of the Palearctic Fauna. Vol. 1, Passeriformes. London: Witherby. 

Address: Hohemarkweg 2, D-6231 Sulzbach/Taunus, W. Germany. 

Extension of Range of the White-headed Robin-chat 

Cossypha heinrichi 

by L D. Harrison 

Received 16 September 1976 
On 5 October '75, in a small clump of thick woodland in a reserve of the 
Department des Eaux et Forets named Bombo-Lumene, Zaire (4 30' S, 
1 6° 8' E.), five birds were seen which, from their behaviour and plumage were 
clearly of the genus Cossypha^ but which could not be identified. One was 
therefore trapped and a full description taken. Six days later two birds were 
caught there and a single bird was seen the same day in similar habitat 
bordering a marsh c. 1 km from the original site. One of the birds caught was 
sent to the British Museum (Natural History) and proved to be Cossypha 
heinricbi, discovered in 1954 (Rand, 1955, Fieldiana 34, No. 31) in northern 
Angola and not previously recorded within 5 00 km to the south. 

The B.M. specimen was an adult male with testes measuring 5 mm and 
4 mm, wing 120, tail 147, bill 20, tarsus 37 mm. The eye was reddish-brown, 
the legs slate, the bill black and the plumage much brighter than that of 
other birds caught at the same time. The plumage of two other adults also 
agreed with Rand's description except that the eye colour was sandy-brown. 
The eye colour differed in all three birds from that given by the Yale Peabody 
Museum {Bulletin No. 95. 14.2. 1966), which describes it as "purplish-red in 
adults and blackish-brown in juvenile and sub-adult specimens". This may 
be due to description after postmortem changes had occurred or might 
indicate geographical variation. The soft parts were the same colours in all 
three birds, but the primaries and secondaries of one of the two birds caught 
were badly abraded. Wings 118, in, tails 132, 134, bills 21, 20, tarsi 36 mm. 

zi [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 

On 22 November '75 five birds were seen in the original clump of wood- 
land, including a single juvenile not long out of the nest: the yellow gape 
was conspicuous and it was still being fed by two adults. The juvenile 
plumage agrees with the description given by Rand except that the head and 
neck were more rufous than ochraceous, as also was the breast. The scaled 
appearance was restricted to the head and upper breast. Two of the five birds 
were moulting out of juvenile plumage and had underparts similar to the 
juvenile, with only a faint scaled appearance, the head patched white and 
rufous. This was possibly first year plumage or even first year moulting into 
adult plumage. 

Subsequently four further sites were discovered in the area (up to 1 5 km 
away) and a bird, almost certainly of this species was glimpsed 5 50 km north- 
northeast near Mbandaka (on the equator, 18 24' E.). In all cases the habitat 
was the undergrowth of thick tropical forest {not gallery forest) which 
occurred in isolated patches in savanna with scattered bushes and small fire- 
resistant trees. The largest of the sites was c. \\ km square and the smallest c. 
100 m square. 

The species is known to be very elusive, either keeping to the ground or 
moving through thickets up to 3 or 4 m above ground. Food appeared to be 
small insects and a party of four birds was once seen feeding on ants on the 
branch of a tree. The stomach of the specimen sent to the British Museum 
contained "fragments of beetles and ants". 

There is thus a population of Cossypha heinrichi in western Zaire, extending 
its previously known range considerably; but further observations are 
necessary to establish if the range is restricted to between northern Angola 
and western Zaire or whether it extends considerably to the north and east 
of that area. Breeding occurs definitely about September to November, 
during the beginning of the rainy season. 

Address: "Hafan Deg", Panteg Rd., Aberaeron, Dyfed, West Wales. 

Halcyon gambieri gambieri Oustalet, an extinct 
Kingfisher from Mangareva, South Pacific Ocean 

by D. T. Holyoak & J. C. Thibault 

Received I) October 1976 

Oustalet (1895) described a kingfisher collected at Mangareva, in the Tua- 
motu archipelago, in 1841 on the second Antarctic expedition of Dumont 
d'Urville as Halcyon gambieri. In the original description Oustalet commented 
on the similarity of this specimen to Halcyon reichenbachi of the Caroline 
Islands, 70 latitude west in Micronesia. Murphy (1924a) described a similar 
kingfisher from Niau, 780 miles north of Mangareva as Todirhamphus 
gertruda, in apparent ignorance of the bird described by Oustalet. Berlioz 
(1939), however, considered that from comparison of the type of Halcyon 
gambieri, which he examined at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle 
(Paris), with Murphy's description, T. gertrudae should be regarded as a 
synonym of H. gambieri, and that H. gambieri differs from H. reichenbachi in 
the form of the bill. Peters (1945), also, mentions that T. gertrudae may be a 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977' 97(i)] 22 

synonym of H. gambieri, and it has recently been suggested that it might be a 
Micronesian species (du Pont 1976). 

Re-examination of Oustalet's H. gambieri type in the Paris Museum and 
comparison of a description, sketch and photographs of it with specimens of 
T. gertrudae in the American Museum of Natural History and the British 
Museum (Natural History) prompt a re-assessment of the status of these 
forms. As pointed out by Berlioz (1939), both forms have a broad bill with 
a wide tip, whereas in contrast, all Micronesian kingfishers without exception 
have very long bills with a laterally compressed tip. Comparative measure- 
ments of gambieri and gertrudae are very similar, but, suggest that the bill of 
the type of gambieri is a little shorter and wider than that of gertrudae and its 
tarsus and tail may be slightly longer (measurements in mm, averages in 
brackets) : 

Flat Tail Culmen Culmen width Tarsus 

from nares at nares 

Type of 

H. gambieri 92*5 69-5 27-4 12-2 18 

H. gertrudae 

5 males 87-94 62-68 29-3 1 10-9-11*7 16-17 

(90) (66) (30) (1 1 - 5 ) (16) 

3 females 9°'5,92*5, 64,66, 30, 31, 11-5,11*8, 15,16, 

90*5 65 28*5 10-5 16 

The type of H. gambieri is apparently in adult plumage as it lacks the pale 
fringes to the wing-coverts that are present in immatures of other Polynesian 
kingfishers. It differs from adults of gertrudae in having the underparts white 
without any wash of cinnamon-buff, the hind-neck whiter with little rufous 
suffusion (this is probably not due to fading as the crown is as rufous as 
in gertrudae) and in having a distinct narrow black line across the nape, 
separating the rufous of the crown from the white of the hind-neck (cf. 
description in Murphy 1924a, plate accompanying Murphy 1924b). In view 
of these differences it seems best to name 

the Mangareva kingfisher Halcyon gambieri gambieri Oustalet, 
and the Niau kingfisher H. gambieri gertrudae (Murphy). 

The English name Tuamotu Kingfisher seems appropriate for the species as 
a whole. 

There can be little doubt that the Mangareva kingfisher was extinct by 
1922 when Ernest Quayle (MS.) searched extensively for landbirds on 
Mangareva without finding a kingfisher. He noted that considerable de- 
forestation had occurred and that cats, rats, goats and dogs were present on 
the island. Quayle wrote also that the sandpiper Aechmorhynchus (=Proso- 
bonia) cancellatus could not be found on Mangareva, but was common on 
some off-lying islets not cursed with the introduced predators. More recent 
visitors have also been unable to find a kingfisher on Mangareva (Thibault 
1973, Lacan & Mougin 1974), so it is most likely extinct along with other 
little-known landbirds formerly found in the Bambier Islands (Holyoak & 
Thiabault, in prep.). 

However, the subspecies, H. g. gertrudae, survives in considerable numbers 
at Niau, where the total population was estimated as 400-600 birds by J. C. 
Thibault in 1974. 

2 3 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(0] 

We are grateful to the departments of ornithology of the American Museum of Natural 
History, British Museum (Natural History) and Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle for 
facilities to examine specimens in their care, to James C. Greenway, Jr., for helpful com- 
ments, to Christian Erard for help while working in the Paris Collection and to Claud Rives 
for the courtesy of obtaining photographs on our behalf. 


Berlioz, J. 1939. Considerations sur les alcedinides de la Polynesie orientale. C.R. 9th Int. 

Orn. Congr. Rouen: 87-91. 
du Pont, J. 1976. South Pacific Birds. Greeneville, Delaware: Del. Mus. Nat. Hist. 
Lacan, F. & Mougin, J. L. 1974. Les oiseaux des iles Gambiers et de quelques atolls 

orientaux de l'archipel des Tuamotu (Ocean Pacifique). Oiseau 44: 193-280. 
Murphy, R. C. 1924a. Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. III. Amer. 

Mus. Novit. 149: 1. 
— 1924b. The Whitney South Sea Expedition. Nat. Hist., New York 24: 539-553. 
Oustalet, E. 1895. Les mammiferes et les oiseaux des iles Mariannes. Nouv. Arch. Mus. 

Hist. Nat., Paris 3rd. ser., 7: 182. 
Peters, J. L. 1945. Birds of the World. V. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Quayle, E. H. MS. Typescript copy of journal during the Whitney South Sea Expedition, 

1920-1923. Lodged in Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York. 
Thibault, J. C. 1973. Notes ornithologiques Polyncsicnnes. I. Les iles Gambier. Alauda 41 : 


Addresses: D. T. Holyoak, 58 Southdown Avenue, Brighton BNi 6EH, England. 
J. C. Thibault, 15 Rue Vaubentou, Paris, France. 

The display of the Scarlet-horned Manakin 
Pipra cornuta 
by D. W. Snow 

Received 1} October 1976 
The Scarlet-horned Manakin Pipra cornuta is the only species of manakin 
confined to the highland area of southern Venezuela and adjacent Guyana and 
Brazil, the region for which Mayr & Phelps (1967) coined the name Pantepui, 
and in which they list four endemic bird species without known relatives, 
including P. cornuta. It used to be placed in a monotypic genus, Ceratopipra, 
on the basis of the pair of backwardly directed "horns" formed by the 
elongated feathers of the hind crown, but such modifications in the male's 
display plumage are common in manakins and do not justify generic separa- 
tion. Recent authors generally place the species in Pipra. The male is black 
with a scarlet head and throat, white iris, and scarlet thigh feathers. The two 
"horns", in life, project backwards and slightly upwards, diverging a little. 
The colour pattern is similar to that of four other species of Pipra which have 
red or orange crowns (erythrocepba/a, rubrocapil/a, chloromeros and mentalis), 
the main difference being that the red on the head is more extensive in P. 
cornuta. Females are olive green, as is usual in the family. P. cornuta is a good 
deal larger than other Pipra species. The wing-length of adult males averages 
about 66- 5 mm, and the weight (four specimens) 23-5 g. Equivalent figures 
for P. erythrocephala, the member of the red- and orange-crowned group with 
which P. cornuta is partly sympatric, are 56-7 mm and 1 2 • 8 g (Snow 1962). 

Pipra cornuta has long been thought to occur sporadically in lowland forest 
near the Amazon as well as in the Guiana highlands, so that Mayr & Phelps 
(1967) qualified their statement that it is endemic to Pantepui; but almost 
certainly it does not extend into lowlands. Haffer (1970, footnote p. 308) 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 24 

showed that the "Rio Marou", where Natterer collected the first specimens, 
was probably not near Manaus, as had been supposed, but in the upper Rio 
Branco area. The other record on which the supposed extension of the range 
into the lowlands was based is equally doubtful. Bates (1863) mentioned 
collecting it at Obidos ; but there is no specimen extant, and his reference to 
three males apparently engaged in a kind of dance, close together on a low 
branch, makes it almost certain that what he collected was Chiroxiphia 
pareola, which occurs near Obidos and displays in this way. As will be shown, 
the display of Pipra cornuta is quite different. 

In the course of a visit to the Gran Sabana of Venezuela (the highlands in 
the southeast of the State of Bolivar) in March and April 1976, 1 was able to 
observe the courtship display of Pipra cornuta in forest at an altitude of 950- 
1050 m near the mission station of Kavanayen. At the time of my visit it 
seemed not to be very numerous in the area; in four days of field-work I 
found two display grounds in forest below the mission station, and during 
a 5 -day visit to the forest on the slopes of Ptari-tepui, 15-20 km from 
Kavanayen, at altitudes between 11 00 and 1600 m, I heard only a single bird 
calling, although I was by then familiar with the sounds associated with the 
display. Below about 1100 m, both at Kavanayen and on Ptari-tepui, the 
Golden-headed Manakin P. erythrocephala also occurred, and in one place 
there were display grounds of both species within a few hundred metres of 
each other in the same kind of forest. 

The two display grounds of Pipra cornuta I found were both in primary 
forest, one on level ground and the other on a steep slope. At both places 
there were two adult males, the centres of whose display and calling areas 
were about 25 m (level forest) and 30 m (sloping forest) apart. With such a 
small sample it cannot, of course, be concluded that males normally display 
in groups of two ; the small size of these two leks may simply have been a 
consequence of a locally low population density. 

The males' general routine was much as in other Pipra species. I was unable 
to obtain accurate data on the percentage of time that the birds were present, 
but they were certainly present in their display areas for nearly all the time 
between 0900 and 1630 hrs, and I did not see them feeding at all while they 
were there. For most of the time they kept to an altitude of 10-15 m above 
the ground, not confining themselves to any particular perches, though some 
groups of perches were clearly preferred, but moving round a good deal in an 
area about 20 m across. Intermittent calls were given, with a distinct tendency 
for a call by one bird to be answered by the other, and there were occasional 
outbursts of display which also tended to be synchronised. The displays, 
described below, were performed on slender horizontal perches at heights 
between 5 and 15 m. Occasionally the two males came together in a tree 
between their display areas, where they would spend up to 15 minutes 
perched in close proximity and quite silent. They would be restless, constantly 
moving from perch to perch, as if jockeying for position, always facing away 
from one another. Occasionally one would make a short backward "slide" 
along its perch towards the other. 


The names given to the various elements of the displays are the same as 
those used for Pipra erythrocephala (Snow 1962) and P. aureola (Snow 1963). 

25 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 

All bouts of displays that were seen appeared to begin spontaneously, i.e. 
without the presence of a female ; but, as already mentioned, display by one 
male tended to stimulate the other to display. Bouts of display usually lasted 
for 1-5 minutes. It seemed probable that during the period of observations 
(7-16 Apr) the local females were not visiting the display grounds, at least 
during the middle of the day, though the breeding season should have begun. 
Vocal and mechanical sounds. As mentioned, males call intermittently when 
they are present in their display areas. Calls are one- to four-syllabled, 
abrupt, and either high-pitched or of a nasal quality, or a combination of 
both. The commonest is a trisyllabic wrrt-pit-arrk (Fig. 1, B), sometimes 
preceded by a pit to produce a fourth syllable. Less frequently given is a 
sharp disyllabic ker-^eek, and a monosyllabic %eek similar to, but less loud 
than, the second syllable of the ker-^eek. Two sounds are associated with the 




~2~ SEC 

Figure 1 . Sonagrams of (A) the mechanical wing-noise {prrt) made during display, and 
(B) the trisyllabic wrrt-pit-arrk. The mechanical wing-noise consists of two very brief sounds, 
with energy evenly distributed over a wide frequency range, separated by an interval of 
about 0-015 sec (4 measured). 

displays and are described in context below : an explosive, mechanical wing- 
noise, and a sharp bu2zing call. 

Backward slide. With its body orientated along or nearly along the perch, 
head held low, wings raised a little, tail slightly depressed, and legs stretched 
so that the red thigh feathers show, the bird takes rapid and very short steps 
backwards for about 1 5 cm along the perch, so that it seems to slide. At the 
end of the slide, two things may happen: (1) most often, the wings are sud- 
denly vibrated with extreme rapidity, producing an explosive prrt (Fig. 1, A) 
and the bird jumps forward about 15 cm as if propelled by the force of the 
"explosion". Immediately on landing the slide may be repeated, and the bird 
may continue for several seconds sliding backwards and jumping forwards. 
When the backward slides and forward jumps are repeated without pause, 
the intervals between successive jumps are about 1-4-2-2 seconds (based 
on sound recordings of three display bouts totalling 12 jumps). (2) Less often 
the slide ends silently, the wings being momentarily spread horizontally and 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 26 

the tail fanned at the end of the slide. When the slide ends thus the bird does 
not jump forward but, temporarily at least, the display ends. 

Side-to-side slide. With its body orientated transversely to the perch the 
bird "slides" (i.e. takes very short steps) rapidly sideways about 10 cm. At 
the end of the slide, the explosive prrt wing-noise is made and the bird jumps 
back to its original position. This display is clearly a variety of the backward 
slide, and intermediates between the two occur; but in their extreme forms 
the body is orientated so differently with respect to the perch that the displays 
appear very different. 

Display flight. The bird leaves its perch (referred to in what follows as the 
main perch) and flies with a downward and then upward trajectory to another 
perch at about the same height and 10-20 m away. After about 10 seconds 
(limits of those timed, 5-12 seconds) it returns to the main perch with rapid 
flight, again with a downward and then upward trajectory as it approaches 
the perch. It may then either land silently on the main perch, after which it 
usually immediately executes one or more backward or side-to-side slides; 
or it lands with a single or multiple (up to five) buzzing call, at the same time 
clinging to the perch and fluttering its wings. In contrast to the backward 
and side-to-side slides, which it performed on many different perches in its 
display area, the male that was watched for longest always used the same 
main perch for its display flights, a nearly horizontal, thin side branch near 
the top of a small and very slender under-story tree, about 5 m above the 
ground, which was in fact the lowest of all the perches that it was seen to use. 
This bird also occasionally remained for a minute or two on the perch to 
which it had flown from the main perch, and did a few slides on it before 
returning in display flight to its main perch. Too few observations were 
made on the other males to establish whether they always made their display 
flights to the same perch. 


In the general organization of its display behaviour and the details of the 
displays, Pipra cornnta is very similar to the small red- and orange-crowned 
manakins P. erythrocephala, rubrocapilla and mentalis, which it also most closely 
resembles in plumage pattern. (The display of P. chloromeros is unknown.) 
Thus the side-to-side slide of cornuta also occurs, but without the mechanical 
noise, in mentalis. A backward slide very similar to that of cornuta is performed 
by erythrocephala (Snow 1962) and rubrocapilla (Sick 1967). The display flight 
is performed, with variations, by all of them. The behaviour of two males, 
when they come together on neutral ground between their two display areas, 
seems to be identical in its essentials in cornuta and erythrocephala. The same 
display elements also occur in the red-and-yellow-headed manakins of the 
Pipra aureola superspecies, but these latter are distinct in colour pattern and 
have some peculiar features in their display (Snow 1963, Snow & Schwartz 
in prep.), and are probably less closely related. 

The evidence thus shows that Haffer (1970) was correct in treating P. 
cornuta as a close relative of P. erythrocephala and its allies. It should not, 
however, be included in the same superspecies, as he did, since it is not only 
broadly sympatric with erythrocephala but actually syntopic where the alti- 
tudinal ranges of the two species overlap. Its morphological distinctness, and 
the fact that it most closely resembles erythrocephala and rubrocapilla in one 

27 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(1)] 

part of its display (the backward slide) and mentalis in another element (the 
side-to-side slide, absent from the repertoire of erythrocephala and rubrocapilla), 
suggest that it is an early derivative of a stock that later became differentiated 
and gave rise to the erythrocephala superspecies. 


I am grateful to the Royal Society and to CONIC1T, the Venezuelan national scientific 
research organization, for grants enabling me to visit Venezuela; and to Dr. William H. 
Phelps, Jr., and Sr. Ramon Aveledo H. for permission to study specimens in the Phelps 
collection in Caracas. The weights of Pipra cornuta are from specimens in the Phelps 

References : 

Bates, H. W. 1863. The Naturalist on the River Amazons. London: John Murray. 

Haffer, J. 1970. Art-Entstehung bei einigen Waldvogeln Amazoniens./. Orn. 1 1 1 : 285-331. 

Mayr, E. & Phelps, W. H. 1967. The origin of the bird fauna of the south Venezuelan 

highlands. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 136: 269-328. 
Sick, H. 1967. Courtship behavior in manakins (Pipridae): a review. Living Bird 6: 5-22. 
Snow, D. W. 1962. A field study of the Golden-headed Manakin, Pipra erythrocephala, in 

Trinidad, W.I. Zoologica 47: 183-198. 
Snow, D. W. 1963. The display of the Orange-headed Manakin. Condor 65 : 44-48. 

Address: British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts. 

Relationships between the two races of the 
San Bias Jay Cyanocorax sanblasiana 

by John William Hardy & Ralph J. Raitt 

Received 22 December 1976 

The nominate race of the San Bias Jay Cyanocorax s. sanblasiana is apparently 
restricted in range to the narrow coastal plain of the state of Guerrero, 
Mexico, from c. 70 km southeast of Acapulco to c. 100 km northwest of that 
city (Miller et al. [Eds.] 1957 — Pacific Coast Avifauna 33 : 1-436). We began 
a long term comparative study of this and other, allopatric, closely related 
jays in July 1974, in relation to their ecology and behaviour, making a special 
effort in summer 1975 to discover the distributional relationships between 
the two races of the San Bias Jay, C. s. sanblasiana and C. s. nelsoni. We drove 
along the narrow coastal plain northwest from Acapulco toward Zihuatanejo 
(see Fig. 1), stopping frequently to look for jays, to broadcast sounds of their 
voices to attract them, to study the habitat, and to question local residents 
about the existence of jays in their particular areas. 

The nominate race seems to breed entirely in coconut palm plantations 
northwest of Acapulco and southeast of the city at least partly in such plan- 
tations, but also in native broadleaved evergreen scrub. Breeding distribution 
is patchy : where family breeding units are found, the species seems common, 
but nearby in seemingly identical habitat, the birds may be absent or rare. 
Distribution to the south apparently ends where the coastal plain narrows 
and the hills reach the ocean southeast of Acapulco. Northwestward from 
Acapulco, seemingly appropriate habitat of palms continues for c. 1 5 5 km, 
to where the coastal plain and the palms terminate in hills, southeast of 
Zihuatanejo. Yet the jay has not been recorded farther northwest than Tecpan 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 


de Galeana, 104 km by road from Acapulco; and at El Llano, 24 km farther 
northwest where palms are abundant, Mexican farmers told us that the jay 
does not occur. There is thus a hiatus of 200 km northward from Tecpan to the 
southeasternmost point of known occurrence of C. s. nelsoni at La Lagunilla. 
This geographic separation of the two races, previously only implied in the 
literature, makes it easier to understand the racially distinctive plumage and 
softparts of the two races first suggested by Davis (i960, Condor 62: 215- 
219), differences that seem closely related to their social behaviour, as pre- 
dicted by Hardy (1976, Wilson Bull. 88: 96-120). In one captive bird of the 


Y ^ %c 

Inayaritv .; 

\SAN BLAS "> / _, 


\m^ } 

^m^COUMA .*-• 








(uuk GUERRERO v ^. 


^^SbxCOYUCA V v 

100 200 

Figure 1. Geographic ranges of the two races of the San Bias Jay Cyanocorax san- 
blasiana. A, nelsoni and B, sanblasiana. 

Occurrences of jays at La Lagunilla and Tecpan de Galeana are substanti- 
ated by museum specimens. 

nominate race, Hardy (1974, Bird-Banding 45: 253-268) had detected a 
difference in their social-alarm calls comparable in degree to their differences 
in external morphology, encouraging further field investigation. 

In museum specimens of C. s. sanblasiana Davis (i960 op. cit.) could find 
no birds indicating the existence of intermediate phenotypes between early 
first year and adult stages, which suggested to him that birds of this race, 
unlike those of C. s. nelsoni, attained the adult phenotype (like that of nelsoni) 
by one year of age. Adults in both races have yellow irides and black bills. 
First year birds (to yearling age) were distinguishable from adults by plumage 
wear associated with lack of moult of remiges and rectrices. 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(i)] 

The apparent acceleration of change to adult phenotype detected by Davis 
seems to have been an artifact of the series of specimens examined. Our field 
work on C. s. sanblasiana has revealed that there is not only a distinctive first 
year plumage, but also a 2-year-old stage as well, both distinguishable in the 
field from the adult stages. There are, however, clear-cut differences in these 
stages between the two races of the jay (Table 1). 


Differences in plumage and softpart in 
Cyanocorax s. sanblasiana and C. s. nelsoni 

Bill Colour 





more prominent 

dark brown 
dark brown 

2-year olds 



brown to dark greenish-yellow 
dark brown 

3 -year olds 



greenish-yellow to like adult 





variable remnant 


$ brownish to greenish-yellow; 

$ yellow 

Yearling sanblasiana have black bills, which may show some greyish or 
whitish marks on the inside, whereas the bills in yearling nelsoni are parti- 
coloured black and horn. We confirmed the existence of the 2-year-old stage 
in sanblasiana by marking two yearlings in 1974 and recapturing them a year 
later. Age stages in nelsoni had previously been determined by maintaining 
captives from juvenile and yearling age for 2 to 3 years. While the crest in 
2-year-olds of nelsoni is less prominent than in yearlings, it is still visible in 
the field; but in 2-year-old sanblasiana two or three wispy crest feathers may 
be evident only in hand held birds. There is no third-year stage in sanblasiana 
easily and consistently distinguishable from the adult as may exist in nelsoni. 
A 3 -year-old captive female nelsoni had dark brown irides, intermediate to 
those of 2-year-old and adult birds until she was at least 39 months old. At 
her death at about 42 months her irides were olive (Hardy 1973 op. cit.). We 
ringed several 2-year-old sanblasiana June-July 1975, and in 1976 recaptured 
them as well as some yearlings ringed in July 1974, and no differences from 
adults were apparent. One known 3 -year-old sanblasiana had yellow irides 
like those of birds judged to be 4 or more years old, while two 3-year-olds, 
examined in the hand, showed greenish or brownish yellow murkiness around 
the pupils or peripherally to the otherwise yellow irides, not detectable in the 
field through binoculars. Hardy (1974 op. cit.) detected sexual dichromatism 
in iris colour in adult nelsoni, 8 females having yellow irides and 3 males 
having brownish to greenish yellow irides. An examination in the wild of 26 
adult sanblasiana detected no such dichromatism, iris colour varying from 
yellow to yellow with a very faintly greenish cast. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(1)] 30 

In nelsoni, 9 females averaged 104 g in weight (92-112 g), whereas 5 males 
averaged 121 g (1 17-123 g). In sanblasiana, 14 females, distinguished on the 
basis of breeding roles or brood patches, averaged 107 g (94-118 g, only one 
bird exceeding 114 g); 12 males distinguished on the basis of breeding role 
or cloacal protuberance, averaged 116 g (11 2-1 19 g). Thus in adults of both 
races, females are significantly lighter than males. 

The social-alarm calls of the two races of San Bias Jay are distinguishable 
by ear and by sonographic analysis (Fig. 2). In nelsoni this call is a rather 
uniform nasal-sounding chatter; in sanblasiana, to the chatter is added con- 
sistently another component, which is a more sustained, downwardly 
inflected cawing sound resembling the typical component of the social- 
alarm call of C. melanocyanea of Central America and the cawing sound of 

f r ;;J 


Figure 2. A comparison of social-alarm call structure in (left) C. s. nelsoni and (right) 
C. s. sanblasiana. The specimens selected show the extreme differences 
noted, but sometimes C. s. sanblasiana is as staccato as nelsoni. No sustained 
components, as shown for nelsoni, have been heard from sanblasiana. 

C. beecheiL When individuals of C. beecheii, C.yucatanica, C. melanocyanea and 
C. sanblasiana are confronted with a tape recorder playback of their own 
social-alarm calls, they will respond by approaching and sometimes by 
uttering the same call, though individuals quickly habituate to this experi- 
mental procedure. When the same jays hear the social-alarm calls of the other 
species, they do not approach or call. On the other hand, when we played 
social-alarm calls of nelsoni to sanblasiana, they responded by approaching and 
calling. It would therefore seem that apparent difference in voice is not as yet 
an isolating mechanism in the process of divergence of nelsoni and sanblasiana 
from each other. The minor, though consistent, differences in external 
features probably fall into the same category. The two sanblasiana forms are 
therefore classic examples of geographic races with a potential for reaching 

3 i [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(i)l 

specific status, since there is currently no apparent gene-flow between their 

We acknowledge the support of our respective institutions, as well as Occidental College 
(Moore Laboratory of Zoology Endowment Fund) and the American Museum's Frank M. 
Chapman Fund. The major portion of the work was partially supported by NSF research 
grants BMS 74-11 107 and DE B76-09735. We thank the members of our field party who 
assisted in this study, Harold Mayfield, Howard S. Gates, Gary L. Grabowski and Jack T. 

Address: John William Hardy, Florida State Museum, University of Florida, Gainesville, 


Ralph J. Raitt, Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, 88003. 

Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature : Opinions 

In continuation o( Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96, 1976: 142, and by permission of the International 
Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, the following Rulings are quoted as extracts from 
Opinions published in Bull. Zool. Nomencl. affecting birds: 


{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 33(1), 1976: 16) 

Hudyptes atratus Finsch, 1875 ex Mutton MS. (Aves): suppressed under the plenary powers 

(1) Under the plenary powers, the specific name atratus Finsch, 1875, ex Hutton MS., as 
published in the binomen Eudyptes atratus, is hereby suppressed for the purposes of the 
Law of Priority but not for those of the Law of Homonymy. 

(2) The following specific names are hereby placed on the Official List of Specific Names 
in Zoology: 

(a) sclateri Buller, 1888, as published in the binomen Eudyptes sclateri (Name Number 


(b) robustus Oliver, 1953, as published in the binomen Eudyptes robustus (Name Number 

(3) The specific name atratus Finsch, 1875, ex Hutton MS., as published in the binomen 
Eudyptes atratus, and as suppressed under the plenary powers in (1) above, is hereby placed 
on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Specific Names in Zoology with the Name 
Number 1009. 


{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 33(1), 1976: 27) 
Suppression of Diomedea leptorhyncha Coues, 1866 (Aves) 

(1) Under the plenary powers, the specific name leptorhyncha Coues, 1866, as published 
in the binomen Diomedea leptorhyncha, is hereby suppressed for the purposes of the Law of 
Priority, but not for those of the Law of Homonymy. 

(2) The specific name irrorata Salvin, 1883, as published in the binomen Diomedea 
irrorata, is hereby placed on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology with the Name 
Number 2578. 

(3) The specific name leptorhyncha Coues, 1866, as published in the binomen Diomedea 
leptorhyncha, and as suppressed under the plenary powers in (1) above, is hereby placed on 
the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Specific Names in Zoology with the Name 
Number 1012. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977- 97(01 3* 


Application of Halcyon ruficollaris Holyoak and 
Alcyone ruficollaris Bankier 

Holyoak in 1976 {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 40) prematurely proposed the new 
name Halcyon mangaia for a species that he had previously named H. rufii- 
collaris in 1974 {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 147). His reason for doing so followed 
an indication that Halcyon ruficollaris Holyoak was a junior homonym of 
Alcyone ruficollaris Bankier 1841 {Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 6: 394), itself a 
synonym of Halcyon sancta Vigors & Horsfield 1827 {Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 
15 : 206). 

It appears, however, that Alcyone ruficollaris Bankier has been referred 
incorrectly to Halcyon sancta by Mathews {Systema Avium Australasianarum 
(1927) 1: 379) and subsequently by Peters {(Check-list of Birds of the World 
(195 5) 5 : 205). Hartert {Novit. Zool. (1930) 36 : 99) pointed out that Bankier's 
name applies instead to Alcedo a^urea, and designated a northern Australian 
subspecies (see Schodde & Mason, Emu (1976) 76: 1 61-166). The type 
specimen from Port Essington in Arnhem Land may unfortunately be lost. 
Although Mathews {Ibis 193 1 : 50) quickly pointed out that Bankier's name 
was senior to Gould's pulchra in Alcedo a^urea, he later reverted to listing that 
name under Halcyon sancta in his "Working List of Australian Birds" (1956: 
73). Nevertheless, both Laubmann in his comprehensive studies of king- 
fishers {An%. Orn. Ges. Bayern (1942) 22: 192) and Deignan {Rec. Amer. 
Aust. Sci. Exped. Arnhem Land, (1964) 4 (Zool): 391) treated ruficollaris 
Bankier as a subspecies of Alcedo a^itrea, a position with which we concur. 
Condon, incidentally, {Checklist of the Birds of Australia, pt. 1, Non-passerines 
— 1975) cites Bankier's name in the synonymies of both Alcedo a^urea 
{=Ceyx a^ureus) and Halcyon sancta. 

Because we now interpret Alcyone ruficollaris Bankier and Halcyon ruficollaris 
Holyoak as referring to different genera (see ICZN (1964) Art. 59c), Halcyon 
ruficollaris Holyoak stands as the valid name for the Mangaia Kingfisher, and 
Halcyon mangaia Holyoak becomes a junior objective synonym of it. 

We are grateful to M. D. Bruce and Dr. G. F. Mees for bringing various 
publications to our attention. 

3 December 1976 R. Schodde and D. T. Holyoak 

Addresses: R. Schodde, CSIRO, P.O. Box 84, Lyneham, A.C.T. 2602, Australia. 
D. T. Holyoak, 58 Southdown Avenue, Brighton, Sussex, BNi 6EH, England. 


Sanders, J. & Berg, K. 1976. A Guide to Bird-Watching in Denmark. 
Pp. 63, numerous maps and illustrations. Photolitho, soft covers. 
Obtainable from J. Tidy, 9 Freewaters Close, Ickleford, Hitchin, Herts. 
£1.70 post free. Fack: Stockholm. 

Very explicitly and usefully describes and shows on detailed maps 
how to reach some 40 or more bird localities in west and northeast 
Denmark for a holiday, and what main species to expect in each, with 
additional short notes on best dates, expenses, travel, accommodation, etc. 


Papers, whether by Club Members or by non-members, should be sent to the 
Editor, Dr. J. F. Monk, The Glebe Cottage, Goring, Reading RG8 9AP, and 
are accepted on the understanding that they are offered solely for publication 
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Scientific nomenclature and the style and lay-out of papers and of Refer- 
ences should conform with usage in this or recent issues of the Bulletin, unless 
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append now., gen. t sp. or subsp. nov. y as appropriate, and set out the supporting 
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"Measurements of Type" and "Material examined", plus any others needed. 

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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS* CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road Sevenoaks Kent. 

;2f j ' ' 

ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

y LlB^ 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 97 No. 2 

June 1977 


The attention of Members is drawn to the outstanding programme described 
below. Mr. Stanley Cramp is Chief Editor of the "Handbook of the Birds of Europe, 
the Middle East and North Africa (Birds of the Western Palaearctic)". We are par- 
ticularly pleased that it has been possible to arrange for Professor V. C. Wynne- 
Edwards, a past President of the B.O.U., to address us and he will speak on a subject 
of wide interest on which he is the leading authority. Dr. Stephanie Tyler needs no 
introduction and she will cover observations made before and during the eight 
months she was held captive in Ethiopia. 

Tuesday, 19 July 1977 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m., at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, 
London, W.i. (between Old Bond Street and Albemarle Street, nearest Underground 
station, Green Park). Mr. Stanley Cramp, o.b.e., b.a., on the Handbook of the Birds of 
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (The Birds of the Western Palaearctic), Vol. 1 of 
which is due for publication in June 1977. Those wishing to attend should send a cheque for 
£2 • 70 a person to the Hon. Secretary with their acceptance on the relevant enclosed slip to 
arrive by first post on Thursday, 14 July. 

Thursday, ij September 1977 at 6.15 p.m. for 6.45 p.m., at the Senior Common Room, 
South Side, Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance on the south side of Prince's 
Gardens, S.W.7., on the E. side of Exhibition Road). Professor V. C. Wynne-Edwards, 
c.b.e., f.r.s., f.r.s.e., f.r.s.c, on "Social competition controlling population density in birds". 
Those wishing to attend should inform Mrs. Diana Bradley, 5 3 Osterley Road, Isleworth, 
Middlesex on the appropriate enclosed slip, with a cheque for £3 -75 per person, to arrive 
by first post on Monday 1 2 September. 


Tuesday, ij November 1977 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Senior Common Room, South 
Side, Imperial College, South Kensington, Dr. Stephanie Tyler, ph.d., on the avifauna of 
Ethiopia and describing especially observations in Tigre and Eritrea. 

P. Hogg {Chairman) Dr. G. Beven {Vice-Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) M. St.J. Sugg {Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk {Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

C E. Wheeler B. Gray 

V. F. Mann 

" .. /j 8> ' " tArfA Aac /?77 '' 97(2)1 

Bulletin of $ 


Vol.97 No. 2 Published: 20 June 1977 

The seven hundred and fifth Meeting of the Club was held at the British Museum (Natural 
History), London, S.W.7. at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 15 March 1977, when Mr. J. M. Forshaw 
spoke on "The ecology of parrots in Australia and their adaptations to changing environ- 
ments", with coloured illustrations. He discussed the effects of changes in the environment 
on a number of species, especially on the Galah Eolophus roseicapillus and the Australian 
Ground Parrot Pe^oporus rvallicus. This meeting was held jointly with the International 
Council for Bird Preservation (British Section) with Professor J. H. Elgood as Chairman 
and a buffet supper followed the talk. The attendance was 127 of which 28 were Members 
of the Club and their guests. 

The seven hundred and sixth Meeting of the Club was held at the Senior Common Room, 
South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7. at 6.45 p.m. on Tuesday, 3 May 1977. 

Chairman: Professor J. H. Elgood; present 22 members and 10 guests. 

Mr. M. W. Woodcock gave the first of three talks on the birds in Asia, making a com- 
parison of the avifauna of the Indian sub-continent with that of S.E. Asia and that of Africa 
south of the Sahara. Lord Medway then spoke on migrants in Malaysia, dealing especially 
with information gained from ringing in 1963-1971. He dealt with a number of aspects of 
migration, including direction, timing and moult. Mr. I. C. Orr concluded with a talk on 
ornithology in China, dealing especially with the main lines of research there, and showed 
copies of several recent Chinese ornithological books. 


The eighty-fifth Annual General Meeting of the British Ornithologists' Club was held at 
Imperial College, London, S.W.7. on Tuesday, 3 May 1977 at 5.45 p.m. with Professor 
J. H. Elgood, m.a., in the chair. Thirteen members were present. 

The Minutes of the eighty-fourth Annual General Meeting (Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 41) 
were approved and signed. 

The Report of the Committee and Accounts for 1976 were presented and a brief discus- 
sion followed, in the course of which the Hon. Treasurer stated that the excess of income 
over expenditure would very probably be replaced in 1977 by a deficit, because of increased 
costs of printing. On the Chairman's proposal, they were received and adopted unanimously. 

The Editor reported that there had been an ample supply of good papers for the Bulletin 
but that it had been possible to reduce the period between receipt and publication to three 
months for some shorter contributions. 

There being no nominations additional to those of the Committee, the following were 
declared elected: — 

Chairman: Mr. P. Hogg (vice Professor J. H. Elgood, who retired on completion of his 
term of office). 

Vice-Chairman: Dr. G. Beven, m.d.,, (vice Mr. P. Hogg, who retired on completion 
of his term of office). 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr. M. St. J. Sugg, m.a., (re-elected). 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. R. E. F. Peal (re-elected). 

Committee: Mr. B. Gray and Mr. V. F. Mann,, (vice Dr. G. Beven and Dr. C. J. O. 

Mr. P. Hogg proposed and Dr. J. F. Monk seconded a vote of thanks to the Chairman 
for the kindly and efficient way in which he had presided over the Club during his term of 
office and this was carried by acclamation. 

The Meeting closed at 6.10 p.m. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97W] 34 

New Laridae records from Hong Kong 

by David Melville 

Received 19 October i$y6 

Although reliable quantitative data are lacking, most observers agree that 
over the past five yeais or so there has been a considerable increase in the 
number of gulls present in Hong Kong during the winter months, particu- 
larly in the case of the Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus. Ten years ago, for 
instance, Herklots (1967) noted this species as common in Deep Bay (over 
100 birds on more than one occasion), but less frequently seen in Hong Kong 
Harbour, though over 100 were present in late January i960. In the wintei of 
1975/76 over 3,000 were recorded in Deep Bay and over 10,000 in the Har- 
bour area in January 1977. 

Macfarlane & Macdonald (1966) list five species of Laridae for Hong Kong : 
Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull Larus argentatus, Slaty-backed Gull L. 
schistisagus, Glaucous GullZ.. hyperboreus and Black-tailed GullZ.. crassirostris; 
and there is also a record of a Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus by de la 
Moussaye (1958) in February 1957. Since 1966 four species of gull and one of 
skua have been recorded for the first time in Hong Kong; Great Black- 
headed Gull L. ichthyaetus, Brown-headed Gull L. brunnicephalus, Common 
Gull L. canus, Saunder's Gull L. saundersi and Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius 
longicaudus, as well as an additional record of Glaucous Gull. 

The number of experienced field observers in Hong Kong has increased 
slowly over the past decade and observers have paid increasing attention to 
gulls in the past two or three years. While this may account foi the sightings 
of certain species (e.g. Saunders' Gull), the sightings of the Brown-headed 
Gull may reflect a genuine range expansion. Unfortunately Cheng (1976) 
generally gives no details of numerical status and his distributional data are 
imprecise. On the other hand, the fact that winter 1974/75 was a "good" 
winter for uncommon gulls cannot be solely attributed to increased observer 
activity since the level of activity was maintained in the two succeeding 
winters, when the numbers of Black- tailed Gulls, for example, were lower 
than in 1974/75, for reasons which are not apparent. 

Larus ichthyaetus Great Black-headed Gull 

Two records. An adult in partial breeding plumage seen near Lau Fau 
Shan, Deep Bay on 26 Dec 1974 by R. E. Hale, M. A. Webster and others, 
was with 9 Caspian Terns Hydroprogne caspza, about 260 Black-headed Gulls 
and 180 Herring Gulls (L. argentatus vegae and L. a. mongolicus), and was 
identified by its size (larger than Herring Gull), crown and nape blackish 
with conspicuous white broken eye ring round back of eye (not front), bill 
noticeably longer and heavier than Herring Gull with yellow, turning to red, 
just before the black subterminal band. Although subsequently searched for, 
the bird was seen only once again c 6 km north at Mai Po on 23 Feb 1975 
(D. Bradford). A second record was of an adult in full breeding plumage at 
Pak Nai, Deep Bay on 12 Mar 1977 (M. L. Chalmers). 

The species breeds in Inner Mongolia (Lakes Tsinghai and Chanin), mi- 
grating through western Sinkiang and Szechuan to winter south to Tenas- 
serim (Cheng 1976, Vaurie 1965). The present records appear to be the most 
easterly for the species and are interesting in that the birds were adults. 

35 [Bull.B.O.C.i 977 : 91 {z)} 

Larus hyperboreus Glaucous Gull 

Two earlier records exist for this species: an immature in Hong Kong 
Harbour February 1908 (Vaughan & Jones 191 3) and a party of 7 (adults?) 
also there on 23 Mar 1936 (Herklots 1936). No details are given for the first 
record and those for the second are unsatisfactory - particularly in the light of 
recent records of albinistic, leucistic and hybrid gulls (Hedgren & Larsson 
1973, Hume 1975, Mikkola 1970). Both records have been rejected by Web- 
ster (1975). 

On 1 5 Mar 1974 I had good close views of a first-year "arctic" gull in flight 
at the sewer outfall at Kai Tak Airport with about 130 Black-headed Gulls 
and 45 Herring Gulls. Its overall pale "milky coffee" plumage, typical of first 
year Glaucous Gulls and Iceland Gulls Larus glaucoides stood out from the 
other sub-adult gulls. Other features were light coloured primaries, secon- 
daries tipped cream/white, legs flesh pink, iris dark brown, bill with basal 
two-thirds flesh coloured and a clear cut dark brown/black tip, heavier than 
in the Herring Gulls, than which it was slightly, but noticeably, larger. 

Both Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Larus glaucescens Gulls are regular 
winter visitors to Japan (Orn. Soc. Japan 1974), but neither species has been 
recorded from Korea (Gore & Won 1971). Vaurie (1965) records the 
Glaucous-winged from "south-eastern China", while Cheng (1976) records 
it in spring on the Fukien coast (c 900 km northeast) and the Glaucous Gull 
as a migrant and winter visitor in small numbers to Hopei, Kwangsu and 
Kwangtung. Both species have been recorded in Hawaii (2o°N), where the 
Glaucous-winged is more numerous (Sibley & MacFarlane 1968). 

There is a record of hyperboreus and glaucescens hybridising (Devillers et al. 
1 971) and both hybridise with Herring Gulls (Ingolfsson 1970, Patten 1976). 
Hybrid gulls often show a complete range of parental characteristics and 
while there is an increasing amount of information available concerning field 
identification of adult hybrids, sub-adults pose a more difficult problem. 
While the Kai Tak bird appeared to me to be a typical first-year Glaucous 
Gull (with which I am familiar), the possibility of a hybrid can not be 
entirely ruled out. 

Larus brunnicephalus Brown-headed Gull 

For about half a minute on 21 Nov 1974 I watched from a ferry off Green 
Island, Hong Kong Harbour, an adult in non-breeding plumage. It was with 
c 70 Black-headed Gulls, than which it was noticeably larger with a con- 
spicuously different wing pattern due to a large black wing tip with a 
prominent white mirror in the centre, and adjacent to this a band of white 
running across the light grey wing. The underparts and tail were white and 
the head also appeared entirely white, though there may have been a dusky 
patch on the ear coverts since these were not visible on the Black-headed 
Gulls either. 

Following this record there were 1 1 others during the next 1 8 months : — 
five Jan-Feb 1975, one Dec 1975 and five Feb-Mar 1976 (seven adults, four 
first-year birds). In addition, T. P. Garland had had sightings (undocu- 
mented) on 22 Dec 1971 : one in Castle Peak Bay, two off Lantau and two 
in Hong Kong Harbour (all adults). 

Vaurie (1965) records the species wintering in Indochina, and Wildash 
(1968) records it for "southern South Vietnam", while Cheng (1976) shows 
it wintering in Yunan (c 1 500 km west) with records of "migrants" in north- 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 36 

west Kangsu, Shansi and Hopei. A single adult was recorded in Perak, 
Malaya in 1959 (Medway & Nisbet 1967). There were no further records 
from Malaya until 1 964 when at least 200 were recorded, and the species has 
since been recorded as far south as the Jahore Strait (Medway & Nisbet 1965, 
Medway & Wells 1970). The adult has such a distinctive wing pattern that it 
would be difficult to overlook the species and it is likely that the species is 
expanding its range in southeast Asia. 

Larus canus Common Gull 

Aylmer (1932) records, without details, that "Eastern Common Gulls" 
were seen in Hong Kong Harbour in January and February 1932; Herklots 
(1967) does not include the species. 

An adult in non-breeding plumage was seen in Hong Kong Harbour on 
23 Jan 1968 with a party of Herring and Black-headed Gulls (D. G. Robert- 
son). It was intermediate in size, with a streaked head, grey back and wings 
with dark tips and white mirrors, and yellow bill and legs. I saw a first-year 
bird at Kai Tak Airport on 14, 20 and 21 Feb 1975, usually at rest with Black- 
headed and Herring Gulls, and also sub-adult Black-tailed Gulls, than which 
it had paler underparts, conspicuous grey scapulars and a less heavy bill. 

Vaurie (1965) and Cheng (1976) record the species wintering along the 
whole southern coast of China. 

Larus saundersi Saunders Gull 

Although occurring in March and September ("common in spring") in 
Kwangtung Province (Cheng 1940), this species was not recorded in Hong 
Kong until 14 Mar 1969, when two adults in breeding plumage were seen at 
Mai Po, Deep Bay (Wilson 1970). Since then it has been recorded annually in 
the Mai Po area between November and March, mainly Feb— Mar (groups of 
50+), with single first-year birds at Mai Po on 20 April and Kai Tak Airport 
on 29 Apr 1975. Most birds were adults in breeding plumage with dark black 
heads, at a time when most Black-headed Gulls were still in non-breeding 
plumage. First year birds were first recorded in 1971, and only occasionally 
since. In the springs of 1975 (40+ birds) and 1976 (53+ birds) there were 
about equal numbers of adults in breeding and non-breeding plumage, with 
one or two first-year birds. 

Cheng (1976) records the species wintering in the lower parts of the 
Yangtze River, Fukien, Taiwan, Kwangtung and Hainan, and it occurs as a 
vagrant in Japan and Korea (Orn. Soc. Japan. 1974, Gore & Won 1971). 
The breeding range is still unknown (Cheng 1976). 

Stercorarius longicaudus Long-tailed Skua 

An adult in full breeding plumage was seen at Mai Po, Deep Bay on 9 May 
1976 flying inland from the sea, passing almost directly overhead. The diag- 
nostic features were well seen: — stout dark-coloured gull-like bill, dark 
brown cap, upper parts brown, white collar and underparts. The long tail 
streamers were approximately one third of the total length of the bird 
(M. A. Webster). 

The Pacific race of the Long-tailed Skua breeds in northeastern Siberia 
and winters in the southern Pacific (Vaurie 1965). Its migrations are virtually 
unknown (King 1967) and there are no previous records from China (Cheng 
1976). It is perhaps noteworthy that the continental anticyclone, normally 
weakening by mid- April, persisted until mid-May in 1 976 before giving way 
to the warm easterly airstream charactersitic of summer in Southeast China. 

37 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97W] 

Acknowledgements : I would like to thank all those observers whose records have been 
used in the compilation of this note and M. L. Chalmers, T. P. Garland, M. A. Webster and 
especially Dr. J. F. Monk for their helpful comments. 

References : 

Aylmer, E. A. 1932 "Notes and Comments". Ornithology. Hong Kong Naturalist 3 : 64-67. 

Cheng, T-h. 1940. A preliminary check-list of the birds heretofore recorded from Kwang- 

tung and nearby islands including Hainan. Part 1. Non-passerine birds. Lingnan Science 

Journal 19: 13 3-1 81. 
Cheng, T-h. 1976. [Distributional List of Chinese Birds] (Rev. ed.). Peking, 
de la Moussaye, R. 1958. Introduction a l'etude des oiseaux de Hong Kong. L'Oiseaux et 

R.F.O. 28: 123-139. 
Devillers, P., McCaskie, G. & Jehl, J. R. 1971. The distribution of certain large gulls 

{Larus) in southern California and Baja California. Calif. Birds 2 : 1 1-26. 
Gore, M. E. J. & Won, Pyong-oh. 1971. The Birds of Korea. Royal Asiatic Society: Seoul. 
Hedgren, S. & Larsson, L. 1973. Vittrut Larus hyperboreus, vitvingad trut L. glaucoides eller 

missfargad annan trut — svarighter vid faltbestamning av ljusvingarde trutar. Var 

Fagelvdrld 32: 173-198. 
Herklots, G. A. C. 1936. "Notes and Comments". Ornithology. Hong Kong Naturalist 7:83. 

— 1967. Hong Kong Birds (Rev. ed.). South China Morning Post: Hong Kong. 
Hume, R. A. 1975. Identification and ageing of Glaucous and Iceland Gulls. Brit. Birds 68 : 

Ingolfsson, A. 1970. Hybridisation of Glaucous Gulls Larus hyperboreus and Herring Gulls 

L. argentatus in Iceland. Ibis 112: 340-362. 
King, W. B. 1967. Preliminary Smithsonian Identification Manual: Seabirds of the Tropical 

Pacific Ocean. Smithsonian Institution: Washington. 
Macfarlane, A. M. & Macdonald, A. D. 1966. An Annotated Check-list of the Birds of Hong 

Kong (revised by Caunter, J. R. L. & Macfarlane, A. M.). Hong Kong Birdwatching 

Medway, Lord & Nisbet, I. C T. 1965. Bird Report 1964. Malayan Nature Journal 19: 


— 1967. Bird Report 1965. Malayan Nature Journal 20: 68-70. 

Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1970. Bird Report 1968. Malayan Nature Journal 23 : 61-64. 
Mikkola, K. 1970. Identification of albino Herring Gulls. Ornis Fen. 47: 172-176. 
Ornithological Society of Japan. 1974. Check-list of Japanese Birds. Fifth and revised edition. 

Gakken: Japan. 
Patten, S. M. 1976. Sympatry and interbreeding of Herring and Glaucous-winged Gulls in 

southeastern Alaska. Pacific Seabird Group Bulletin 3 : 25-26. 
Sibley, F. C. & MacFarlane, R. W. 1968. Gulls in the Central Pacific. Pacific Science 22: 

Vaughan, R. E. & Jones, K. H. 191 3. The birds of Hong Kong, Macao and the West River 

or Si Kiang in South-Eastern China, with special reference to their identification and 

movements. Ibis 10 (1913): 17-76, 163-201, 351-384. 
Vaurie, C. 1965. The Birds of the Palearctic Fauna. Volume 2. Non-passeriformes. Witherby: 

Webster, M. A. 1975. An Annotated Check-list of the Birds of Hong Kong. Hong Kong Bird 

Watching Society. 
Wildash, P. 1968. The Birds of South Vietnam. Tuttle: Vermont. 
Wilson, R. A. I. 1970. Another first. Hong Kong Bird Report 1969: 56-57. 

Address: 44 The Ridgeway, Tonbridge, Kent, England. 

Erythrism in the Fiery-necked Nightjar 

Caprimulgus pectoralis 
by C. W. Benson & J. F. R. Colebrook-Robjent 

Received 1 December 1976 
According to Huxley (1964), polymorphism is absent in the order Capri- 
mulgiformes. Certainly we are unaware of any such instance having been 
recorded from southern Africa, even though Mackworth-Praed & Grant 
(1962: 520) state that the young of Caprimulgus pectoralis fervidus is "more 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)1 38 

russet brown, especially on the upperside, than the adult". The observations 
which follow have been prompted by the collection of two adults of this 
subspecies near Choma, Zambia, by one of us (J. C-R.), not in the usual 
phase, which we refer to as "grey", but in a phase which may be termed 
"rufous", i.e. erythristic. 

In the British Museum (Natural History), Tring, there are 2 1 specimens of 
C. p. pectoralis, all in a grey phase. However, of over 40 apparent adults of 
C.p.fervidus, while the majority are in this phase, there are certain exceptions, 
which together with J. C-R.'s two specimens are: — 

(1) $, New Venture Farm, Sibinyati Ridge, near Choma, 7 Oct 1969, coll. J. C-R., from 
two eggs, oviduct still large and swollen. 

(2) ?, 10 miles north of Choma, 24 Aug 1969, coll. J. C-R., gonads enlarged (one oocyte 
of diameter 7 mm). 

(3) BMNH no. 195 3. 54.161. o\ Mwinilunga, Zambia, 29 May (no year), coll. C. M. N. 

(4) BMNH no. 1931.6.6.32. °., Kikore, Kondoa Dist., Tanzania, 25 Sep 1930, coll. 
C. H. B. Grant. 

(5) BMNH no. 1935. 10. 11. 47. £, Marang, Mbulu Dist., Tanzania, 20 Sep 1934, coll. 
R. E. Moreau. 

The following references to colour approximate to those in Smithe (1975). 
In the normal grey phase of C. p. fervidus, the crown, tail, throat and chest 
are "pale neutral gray" (color 86), the mantle "light neutral gray" (color 85). 
In all the above five specimens, however, the throat and chest are "cinnamon- 
rufous" (color 40). The crown is also this colour, except for no. 4, with a 
tendency to grey. The tail is variable, only no. 5 having it almost pure 
"cinnamon-rufous", the others mixed with "pale neutral gray". On the 
mantle none are the normal "light neutral gray". All show some "cinnamon- 
rufous", best marked in no. 1, in which the mantle is almost uniform with 
the crown, which is only slightly brighter. The contrasting rufous collar on 
the hindneck, conspicuous in the grey phase, is little apparent in any of these 
five. Admittedly in the remainder of the material of adult fervidus, a few 
specimens show a slight admixture of rufous, more especially on the tail, 
but they all belong essentially with the grey phase. 

In Tring there are three young fervidus, not fully grown (McLachlan & 
Liversidge (1970) give the adult wing-length as 160-172, tail-length 118- 
134 mm): — 

BMNH no. 1900.2.20.6. Salisbury, Rhodesia, 16 Oct 1898, coll. G. A. K. Marshall. 
Wing 129, tail 56 mm. 

BMNH no. 1910.7.1.240. Chirinda, Rhodesia, 2 Oct 1906, coll. C. F. M. Swynnerton. 
Wing 95, tail 39 mm. 

BMNH no. 1910.7.1.241. Locality and collector as last, 30 Oct 1906. Wing 109, tail 

57 mm. 

These three specimens, particularly the smallest, are very like the previous 
five detailed in colour, although there is no certainty that they would have 
retained any such rufous when adult. In fact the largest already has the 
crown "pearl gray" (color 81), the tail "pale neutral gray" (color 86). No 
doubt it was largely on this material that Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1962: 
5 20) based their description of the young. The first five specimens, however, 
appear to be fully adult, affording examples of genuine erythrism. Nos. 1 and 
2 were obviously close to breeding. No. 3, although marked as having testes 
small, is surely sexed correctly, since it has white extending back from the 
tips of the outer rectrices for some 50 instead of only 30 mm as in females, 
and furthermore has hardly any buffy wash on the white wing-spots. So there 

39 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 

cannot be any question of erythrism being confined to the female. No. 4 
bears a pencilled note in Grant's handwriting "Young bird by colour", 
although it would appear to be adult, certainly fully grown — wing 165, tail 
124 mm. 

Certain further young birds, but fully grown, need mention. Two fervidus 
collected by C. J. Andersson in northern South- West Africa (<£, 2 Feb 1859; 
9, 30 Nov 1859) are markedly rufous on the throat and chest, the male also 
on the mantle (and marked by Grant "Young bird by colour'', surely 
correctly in this case). Presumably these two would have developed into a 
full grey phase, like four others from the same area. It would seem that not 
all young exhibit rufous. A male from Sokoke, coastal Kenya, 17 April 1970, 
collector P. R. Colston, although fully grown, is seemingly very young, the 
plumage unusually "soft" in appearance. Yet it is in a full grey phase. There 
is another such specimen of nominate peclora/is, merely labelled "S. Africa", 
collector E. L. Layard. 

Of 10 apparent adults oiC.p. nigri scapular is in Tring, all have some rufous 
on the tail, and the following have the crown rufous, not grey : — <$, Gomba, 
Uganda, 24 Sep 1904, F. J. Jackson; $, Bugoma Forest, Uganda, 2 Dec 191 1, 
S. A. Neave; q\ Mambolo, Port Loko, Sierra Leone, 16 Feb 1935, R. R. 
Glanville. These three also have the throat and chest rufous, as have the 
following (but crown grey): — ^, Entebbe, Uganda, 11 May 1898, F. J. 
Jackson; ?, River Ubangi, Central African Republic, 22 Nov 1905, B. 

To summarise, there is evidence of erythrism in the adult of C. p. fervidus 
and C. p. nigri scapularis, but not in C. p. peclora/is. Erythrism may be most 
frequent (but irregular) in nigriscapularis. The young at least of fervidus is also 
most usually rufous. 

We are grateful to I. C. J. Galbraith and D. K. Read for the loan of certain critical 
specimens in the British Museum (Natural History), and C. W. B. to R. Wagstaffe for 
examining them with him. 

References : 

Huxley, J. S. 1964. Article "Polymorphism" in Thomson, A. L. (ed.). New Diet. Birds. 

London & New York: Nelson. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1962. African Handbook of Birds. Series 2, vol. 

I. London: Longmans. 
McLachlan, G. R. & Liversidge, R. 1970. Roberts Birds of South Africa. Cape Town: John 

Voelcker Bird Book Fund. 
Smithe, F. B. 1975. Naturalist's color guide. New York. American Museum of Natural 


Address: Department of Zoology, Downing St., Cambridge. 

The aberrant eggs of Turdoides plebejus in 

Nigeria and their relation to cooperative breeding and 

to victimisation by Clamator cuckoos 

by William Serle 

Received 6 November 1976 
Except for Turdoides altirostris and T.gymnogenys the eggs of the 25 species of 
babbler placed by Peters (1964) in the genus Turdoides have been described. 
They are all immaculate blue, the shade varying within the genus from 
bluish-white to deep turquoise. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 


The Brown Babbler Turdoides plebejus is unique in that in one part of its 
range it lays not only blue eggs but also strikingly aberrant eggs coloured 
bright pink, pale pink, mauve, grey, or blue-grey. T. plebejus is distributed in 
the savanna across the breadth of Africa from Senegal to the Red Sea Coast 
but so far abnormally coloured eggs have been recorded from localities within 
a small part only of its northern Nigerian range at Kafanchan (9 40' N, 
8° 20' E); Serakin Pawa (io° N, 7 E); Kaduna (io° 30' N, 7 28' E); and 
Kano (12 N, 8° 30' E) (Serle 1938, 1940, Shuel 1938). Normal blue eggs also 
occu • in this area. 


Set mark 


Clutch Locality 

Colour, measurements, and shell-weight of the eggs of Turdoides plebejus 

Length and breadth {mm), shell-weight and colour 








Ch , 




C/3 , r 






C/ / 
1 8/vi/42 







Serakin Pawa 



24-5 X 
23-9 x 




24-2 X 
25-0 X 

24-8 X 
26-4 X 

24-0 X 
23-5 X 

26-4 X 
26-0 X 

17-3, 251 
16-8, 253 

i6-6, 254 
16-4, 261 

17-7, 306 

17-8, 256 
i8-i, 271 

17-8, 280 


17-8, 310 


18-8, 289 

mg. pink 
mg. pink 

mg. pink 
m.g. pink 


mg. pale mauve 
mg. pale mauve 

mg. pale mauve 
mg. pale mauve 

mg. pink 
mg. pink 

mg. pink 

mg. palest mauve 

mg. blue 
mg. blue 

mg. blue 
mg. blue 

24-6 X 17-0, 251 mg. pink 

25 -o X 20- 1, 452 mg. pink {Clamator) 

25-5 x 16-7, 271 mg. pink 

24-7 X 20-0, 473 mg. pink {Clamator) 

26-4 X 18-3, 308 mg. blue-grey 

24-5 X 17-9, 260 mg. pale mauve 
27-3 X 18 -o 300 mg. pink 

25-3 X 17-0, 260 mg. pink 
24-2 X 17-8, 306 mg. pink 

Of the 9 Nigerian clutches (Table 1) taken by me the 2 from Abeokuta 
(7 10' N, 3 15' E), which lies outside the recorded range of birds laying 
abnormally-coloured eggs, are blue. The remaining 7 clutches are all ab- 
normally-coloured and of these there is in 2 clutches a very slight, and in 3 
clutches a very marked, variation in colour within the clutch. The two clutches 
showing the very slight variation are pink, and in both of them the odd egg 
is, from its shape, grain, and shell-weight clearly a cuckoo's egg, strong 
presumptive evidence suggesting that oi Clamator lev aillantii (Harrison 1971). 
It would seem likely that in this part of Nigeria T. plebejus must have laid 
eggs of pink and allied shades for a very long time because adaptation of some 
of the eggs of the local parasitising cuckoos has, in colour at least, become 
nearly perfect. 

The 3 clutches showing marked variation in colour are all clearly babbler 
eggs. The odd egg in each clutch differs from the others quite distinctly in 
colour and also slightly in shape, measurements, and weight. That one female 
could lay such remarkably diverse eggs in the same clutch is biologically 
most improbable and it can be assumed that these clutches are the product of 
two females. 

T. plebejus, which is closely gregarious even at the breeding season, is one 
of the 4 Ethiopian Turdoides cited by Grimes (1976) as cooperative breeders. 
This series of Nigerian eggs shows that in T. plebejus cooperation in breeding 

4 i [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 

is sometimes expressed by two females in a group laying eggs in a common 
nest. Zahavi (1974) noted similar behaviour occasionally in the Palaearctic 
T. squamkeps. Such behaviour in the gregarious Turdoides may be more usual 
than has been hitherto suspected and sets of eggs merit critical examination. 
Even in the absence of colour variation, differences in shape, size, and weight 
within the clutch could be presumptive, or strongly presumptive, evidence 
of cooperative breeding and of clutch sharing by females. 

One egg in set 37/37 and one in set 37/103 was found dented and cracked 
in the nest. Zahavi found that in large clutches of T. squamkeps which were 
the product of more than one female some eggs were cracked and he believed 
that this was "the result of conflict between two or more females which laid 
in that nest". 

Lastly, in T. plebejus the sexes are alike and the roles played by males and 
females respectively in incubation and tending the young are not known; 
so it is worth mentioning that the 7 incubating birds collected by me at the 
nest were all females. 

References : 

Grimes, L. G. 1976. The occurrence of cooperative breeding behaviour in African birds. 

Ostrich 47: 1— 1 5. 
Harrison, C. J. O. 1971. Notes on the identification of eggs, egg mimicry and distributional 

history and the status of the form serratus, in the parasitic Clamator cuckoos. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 91: 126-131. 
Peters, J. L. 1964. Check-list of Birds of the World, vol. 10, Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard Univ. 

Serle, W. 1938. Nesting notes on Nigerian birds. Oologists Record 18: 10-18. 
— 1940. Field observations on some northern Nigerian birds. Ibis (14)4: 1-47. 
Shuel, R. S. 1938. Further notes on the eggs and nesting habits of birds in northern Nigeria 

(Kano Province). Ibis (14)2: 463-480. 
Zahavi, A. 1974. Communal nesting by the Arabian Babbler. Ibis 116: 84-87. 

Address: The Manse, Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, AB3 3HA, Scotland. 

Hole Nesting by Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis in Belize 

by S. G. Madge 

Received i; December 1976 
During a visit to Belize, Central America, in April 1976, I watched Bat 
Falcons Falco rufigularis (=albigularis~) on a number of occasions. By day they 
are often easy to observe as they are then rather sedentary and tend to perch 
high up in dead tress. I also saw them hunting actively at dusk. On 23 April I 
spent the day in pine-ridge country, a habitat where Pinus carribaeus grows in 
varying densities, interspersed with open grassy areas, somewhat resembling 
heathland in appearance. While watching a Vermilion Flycatcher Pyocephalus 
rubinus feeding young in a nest in one of the pines (this was a small bowl- 
shaped nest, c . 8 m up, resting on the fork of a small branch which it matched 
precisely in colour), my attention was drawn by the "pyoo-pyoo-pyoo" call 
of a falcon (quite similar to the alarm call of a Hobby Falco subbuteo) to a 
nearby tree in which two Bat Falcons were perched on a branch c. 10 m up. 
These were obviously a pair and the female, which was somewhat larger (the 
disparity in size is quite marked in photographs which I took), was feeding 
on a small item of vertebrate prey, probably a small mammal as there were 
no feathers drifting down, while her mate perched on the same branch less 
than half a metre along. 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 4* 

The female paused in her feeding occasionally and peered down at me, 
calling angrily. When she had finished feeding she flew to a dead tree f. 50 m 
away and, as I was watching her through my binoculars, she flew with rapid 
wing beats straight towards me. When near she closed her wings to stoop at 
me with great speed, passing just above my head, and then swung away to 
return to the dead tree. She repeated this manoeuvre several times until I 
moved away from the tree where she had fed, but resumed her attacks when 
I returned to it. I was unable to find any fledlings but noticed a hole c. 6 m up 
in the tree by which I had been standing when the bird attacked so persis- 
tently. When I pretended to climb the tree both birds flew at me in an attempt 
to drive me off. I have no doubt that the hollow in the tree trunk contained 
one or more young Bat Falcons. The following day Mr. M. I. Meadows, 
with whom I was staying, watched a Bat Falcon in another part of the forest 
enter a hole c. 1 6 m up in a large tree where it seems very probable it was nesting . 

Brown & Amadon (1968) do not specify any typical nest sites for this 
species. Their statement that "nests in trees may be as high as 100 ft. or more" 
gives no indication as to whether such nests are habitually in holes or in the 
open, or even if they are built by the birds themselves. Pennard & Pennard 
(1908) state that "the nest of thin branches and twigs is built in high or low 
trees, but equally well in hollow trees", but their information may have been 
only that from Indian hunters, and confusion with F. deiroleus is possible. 
Beebe (1949) describes a nest in an inset hollow shelf, overgrown at the edges 
with bark, where a limb had broken off a giant tree in Venezuela, and 
Brown & Amadon mention another nest on a crossbar of a crane 20 ft. high 
in a sugar factory in Guyana. No details of this site are given but it suggests 
nesting in an exposed rather than an enclosed situation. Haverschmidt (1968) 
states categorically that the species "nests in large holes (mostly old holes of 
the large woodpeckers of the genus Campephilus) in trees". Ridgely (1976) 
is equally emphatic that in Panama they "nest in tree holes". 

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Professor K. H. Voous (through Dr J. F. Monk) 
for his helpful comments and for kindly translating the relevant passage in Pennard & 
Pennard, and also to thank Dr. J. F. Monk for his helpful suggestions and advice. 

References : 

Beebe, W. 1949. High Jungle, pp. 242-260. Bodley Head: London. 

Brown, L. H. & Amadon, D. 1968. Eagles, Hawks <& Falcons of the World. Country Life: 

Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds of Surinam, pp. 75-76. Oliver & Boyd: London. 
Pennard, F. P. & Pennard, A. L. 1908. De Vogels von Guyana. Paramaribo. 
Ridgely, R. S. 1976. A Guide to the Birds of Panama, p. 81. Princeton. 

Address: Firway End, George Hill, Crediton, Devon EX17 2DS. 

Natterer's specimens of Sterna cantiaca from Brazil 
by K. H. Voous 

Received 28 December 1976 
At the request of Dr. H. Sick (Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 
Dr. H. Schifter kindly sent me for examination eight specimens of terns 
collected in Brazil by the well-known Austrian collector Johann Natterer 
in the years 18 17-183 5. These birds, preserved in the Natural History 
Museum of Vienna, Austria, were recorded by Von Pelzeln (1871: 324) as 
Sterna cantiaca (=S. sandvicensis acuflavidd). The point at issue was whether 

43 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 

these birds were North American Sandwich ("Cabot's") Terns S. s. acuflavida 
collected while present along the Brazilian coast during their non-breeding 
season, or rather have to be assigned to the indigenous, but still poorly 
known Cayenne Tern S. eurygnatha. 

S. s. acuflavida has a long black bill with small ivory-yellow tip, while in 
S. eurygnatha the colour of the bill is yellow. Junge & Voous (195 5), and later 
Ansingh et al. (i960) and Voous (1968), have shown, however, that in a not 
inconsiderable proportion of northern South American representatives of 
S. eurygnatha (at present known to breed on various South Caribbean islands 
from Aruba in the west to Trinidad in the east) the bill has black patches of 
variable extent and form, and that some even have a bill coloration which is 
indistinguishable from that of S. s. acuflavida. Since no other characters 
distinguish eurygnatha from acuflavida, they concluded that acuflavida and 
eurygnatha should be considered as conspecific and that the "Cayenne Tern" 
be known as S. sandvicensis eurygnatha. 

Von Pelzeln (1871 : 324-325) lists specimens of "Sterna cantiaca" from the 
following localities of the Brazilian coast (translated): "Marambaya on a 
sandbank March, Sapitiba off the Ilha do Pescador March, beach of Praia do 
Sai from a flock April, Rio do Boraxudo December, Rio de Janeiro solitary 
shot in the bay August, Cajutuba 1835, 12 specimens". Of these apparently 
no more than the following eight specimens are still available in the Vienna 
Museum : — 

Marambaya near Rio de Janeiro (reg. No 1 1, <^, 17 March 18 18); Rio de 
Janeiro (reg. No 12, ^, 6 Aug. 1818); Rio de Boraxudo, Prov. Parana 
(reg. No 13, <J, Dec. 1820); Cajutuba near Para, North Brazil (reg. Nos 
8, 9, 2 o*6*; reg. Nos 7, 10, 14, 3 ??, Feb.-April 1835). 

The coloration of the bill in these specimens varies, apparently irrespective 
of age and sex, between black with small yellow tip and some yellow at the 
gape of the lower mandible (No 7), through various stages of black with 
irregular yellow patches (Nos 10, 9, 14) and yellow with black patches (Nos 
15, 11, 8), to predominantly yellow (No 12). Whereas No 7 could easily pass 
for a specimen of S. s. acuflavida, No 12 is a fine specimen of S. s. eurygnatha. 
The remaining skins fall well within the limits of colour types found in 
breeding colonies in the Netherlands Antilles, viz. c. 62% yellow, 25% 
intermediate, 13% black (Voous 1963) and in birds collected along the 
Uruguayan coast (Escalante 1970). 

State of wear of feathers, moult of crest and primaries, and remains of 
juvenile plumage (at least in Nos 7, 8 and 14) conform with a breeding 
season in the northern spring, as was found in Brazilian populations (Rio de 
Janeiro — Sick & Leao 1965) and in the South Caribbean (Voous 1963). They 
differ in this respect from the enigmatic Argentina birds, of which so far 
three nesting sites have been recorded in the southern summer on the 
Atlantic coast between 43 ° and 46 5 5' S. (see Escalante 1973). Von Pelzeln' s 
specimens from Cajutuba, North Brazil, three of which show traces of 
immature plumages, could be either Brazilian breeding birds (not necessarily 
from this locality) or migrants from the Caribbean; they have the larger 
amount of black on the bills that is characteristic of the Caribbean populations 
at least in some years. 

Measurements (mm) of Natterer's specimens agree with those from 
tropical South America, rather than with those from Argentina (Table 1). 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1977: 97W] 44 


Measurements of Sterna sandvicensis 
Natterer's specimens Northern South America* Argentina* 

Wing 6*259,266,273 176*? 289-8 (283-303) 10 <?$ 314-1 (304-321) 

278, 295 

$ 272, 282, 283 
Billf 6V 50, ^ 53> 53 23 6"? 54*o (49-5 8 ) 10 6*$ 58-7 (53-5-62) 


9' 5°, 51*5, 52 

* Voous (196 8: 185) f Exposed culmen 

To summarize : examination of the specimens has revealed, as expected 
by Sick (in lift.) : 

1. Natterer's specimens do not refer to the northern migrant race S. 
sandvicensis acuflavida, but to the indigenous tropical South American race 
eurygnatha; they are not a mixed assemblage of tropical and temperate South 
American origin (cf. Escalante 1973). 

2. Argentina specimens of S. sandvicensis stand apart in measurements 
and seasonality. 

3. The occurrence of S. sandvicensis acuflavida, "Cabot's Tern", as a 
wintering bird from North America on the Brazilian coast rests on the sole 
evidence of a bird ringed on the Mississippi coast and recovered at Rio 
Grande do Norte in northeastern Brazil (Sick in litt.). Sight records of Cabot's 
Terns (e.g. Mitchell 1957: 81) have every chance of being erroneous. 

References : 

Ansingh, F. H., Koelers, H. J., van der Werf, P. A. & Voous, K. H. i960. The breeding 
of the Cayenne or Yellow-billed Sandwich Tern in Curacao in 1958. Ardea 48 : 51-65. 
Escalante, R. 1970. Notes on the Cayenne Tern in Uruguay. Condor 72: 89-94. 

— 1973. The Cayenne Tern in Brazil. Condor 75 : 470-472. 

Junge, G. C. A. & Voous, K. H. 1955. The distribution and the relationship of Sterna 

eurygnatha Saunders. Ardea 43 : 226-247. 
Mitchell, M. H. 1957. Observation on Birds of Southeastern Brazil. Univ. Toronto Press. 
Pelzeln, A. von. 1871. Zur Ornithologie Brasiliens. Wien. 
Sick, H. & Leao, A. P. A. 1965. Breeding sites of Sterna eurygnatha and other sea birds off 

the Brazilian coast. Auk 82: 507-508. 
Voous, K. H. 1963. Tern colonies in Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire, South Caribbean Sea. 

Proc. XIII Intern. Ornith. Congr. (Ithaca, 1962): 1214-1216. 

— 1968. Geographical variation in the Cayenne Tern. Ardea 56: 184-187. 

Address: Maasdamlaan 28, Huizen, N.H., The Netherlands. 

The eggs of the Teita Falcon Falco fasciinucha 
by J. F. R. Colebrook-Robjent 

Received 22 January 1977 
This note describes for the first time the eggs of Falco fasciinucha, an apparently 
rare and local falcon of East and Central Africa, with a range at least as 
discontinuous as that of the extensive precipices which constitute its habitat. 
A nest site in the Songwe Gorge overlooking the Zambezi River some 5 km 
below the Victoria Falls in Zambia was described by Holliday (1965). The 
basalt cliffs here are c. 135 m high and the nest site was 42 km below the top. 
On 27 September 1970, in the same general area, mating was observed at 
0630 hrs. The male Teita Falcon flew from the rock face and alighted straight 

45 {Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 

on the back of the female, which was perched on top of a small tree on the 
cliff side. Copulation lasted about 20 seconds, after which the male flew off 
and out of sight (see Holliday for a similar description). The female remained 
perched for a minute or two before flying 60 m directly to a round, wind- 
eroded hole in the sheer cliff and entering. At 1400 hrs on 4 October, Mrs. 
S. Scola saw one of the falcons fly into this same nest hole and relieve the 
sitting bird, which immediately flew out. 

On 19 September 1971, a smaller wind-hole 2-5 m above the previous 
year's site was reached by means of an electron ladder and alpine rope. 
Although prior to this date R. J. Dowsett had repeatedly seen a pair at this 
upper hole, the nest scrape was empty and still no eggs had been laid when I 
next inspected it on 21 October. However, T. O. Osborne was able to 
recover bleached and broken shells of at least two eggs from the 1970 nest, 
one whole enough to give an approximate measurement of 44-45 X 34 • 8 mm. 

On 7 October 1972, one of the falcons appeared briefly on the lip of the 
1 97 1 hole as a Brown Snake Eagle Circaetus cinereus flew past, but soon re- 
entered and disappeared from view. I inspected this hole on 10 October when 
a tight-sitting Teita Falcon flushed out almost in my face revealing four eggs. 
The eggs, all separated, lay in a depression on small particles of basalt in the 
furthest darkened corner of the 30 cm deep wind-hole. The hole was 22 cm 
high and 45 cm wide. Two small feathers of the falcon were with the eggs. 

Eggs. The 4 eggs differ somewhat in shape, one being blunt oval, two oval 
and one rather long oval. The ground colour is pale yellowish-buff. The 
markings are in the form of small spots or blotches, in two eggs rather evenly 
distributed over the whole surface. The spots are yellowish-brown and most 
are 2-4 mm in size. One is rather different in that there is a wash on the top 
third of the same colour as the spots. Another egg has a few small streaks of 
darker brown, and even fewer pale ashy shell-marks are just discernible. The 
foul eggs measure 45 -2 x 34-5,42-7 x 34-1,42-5 X 34-5 and 41 -9 X 
34-7 mm. At another nest found by R. J. Dowsett in the Fifth Zambezi 
Gorge in 1975, with the aid of a powerful telescope, we were able to see eggs 
we knew to be freshly laid. These eggs were blotched with rather pale 
yellowish-brick. Like those of all other falcons, the eggs of this species show 
yellowish internally when held against the light. 

Nest. None: a mere scrape in loose rock particles. The statement in 
McLachlan & Liversidge (1970) that the nest is " . . . constructed of twigs" 
is erroneous. The Songwe and Fourth Gorge nest sites described by Holliday, 
and Dowsett's in the Fifth Gorge, suggest that the Teita Falcon selects well 
sheltered sites in the form of wind-holes or deep horizontal cracks, the eggs 
being laid in shadow. 

Behaviour. The adults were aggressive while I was at the nest. After the 
incubating bird had left the eggs, it was joined by its mate. Then both birds 
flew round and repeatedly swooped to within 3 m of me before shearing off 
with tails spread, "kekking" loudly. Later, the pair flew up level with the top 
of the precipice and glided in circles above the rope party engaged in lower- 
ing me down the cliff, before folding wings close to the body and plunging 
vertically downwards to the nest area. This performance is essentially similar 
to the aggressive behaviour of the Peregrine F. peregrinus, which also breeds 
in the Zambezi River Gorges. The Teita Falcon is included by Brown & 
Amadon (1968) in the Peregrine Group and Prof. T. J. Cade {in Hickey 1969) 
suggests that its closest relative is the Barbary Falcon F. pekgrinoides . The 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 46 

Teita Falcon and Barbary Falcon are known to share some characteristics, 
e.g. rufous nuchal patch ; it should now be noted that both falcons lay paler 
eggs on average than do the northern races of the Peregrine. 

Acknowledgements: I am most grateful to D. R. Aspinwall and R. J. Dowsett for advice 
and critcism of an early draft of this note and to Dr. J. F. Monk who made various improve- 
ments. R. W. Cadman, H. J. S. Calha, J. Counsell, R. J. Dowsett, T. O. & L. Osborne, 
C. & S. Scola and D. M. White all rendered assistance at various times. I thank the Minister 
of Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism for the issue of special licences. 


Brown, L. & Amadon, D. 1968. Eagles ; Hawks and Falcons of the World. London: Country 

Life Books. 
Hickey, J. J. (Ed.) 1969. Peregrine Falcon Populations. University Wisconsin Press. 
Holliday, C. S. 1965. A note on the Teita Falcon. Puku 3 : 71-73. 
McLachlan, G. R. & Liversidge, R. 1970. Robert's Birds of South Africa. Third edn. Trustees 

John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. 

Address: Musumanene, P.O. Box 303, Choma, Zambia. 

The distribution and habitat of 

Telacanthura ussheri benguellensis 
by C. W. Benson & J. M. Winterbottom 

Received 1 February 1977 
In view of the forthcoming Atlas of speciation in African non-passerine birds 
under the editorship of Dr. D. W. Snow, attention should be drawn to certain 
records of the Mottled Spinetail Telacanthura ussheri, from two particular 
areas. Those from the first are rejected, but those from the second are valid, 
and extend the known range of T. u. benguellensis (cf. Brooke 1971b). 

Area 1. R. J. Dowsett (pers. comm. to C. W. B.) points out that records of 
T. u. benguellensis in Benson et al. (1971) from the Kabompo and Balovale 
Districts, supported by a specimen from Kabulamena, are anomalous, the 
only others being from the Middle Zambezi Valley between Chirundu and 
Feira. The ecological contrast between these two areas is considerable, moist 
Brachystegia woodland (Miombo) predominating in the former, dry Mopane 
woodland interspersed with scattered baobab trees Adansonia digitata in the 
latter. Brooke (1966: 5) records a specimen of the Bat-like Spinetail Nea- 
frapus boehmi (as Chaetura boehmi), in the British Museum (Natural History), 
from Kabulamena, on the authority of C. W. B., who has re-examined it and 
confirms that it belongs to that species. It bears registered number 194 5. 18. 10, 
and is dated 27 June 1940, collector J. M. W., who is sure that he never 
collected any other specimen of a spinetail at this locality. C. W. B. could find 
no Zambian specimen of T. ussheri in the British Museum, exclusive of the 
one collected by Alexander (1900 : 93), at Zumbo, Mozambique, on the south 
side of the Zambezi River, opposite Feira. 

The original published source of records of T. ussheri from the Kabompo 
and Balovale Districts is Winterbottom (1942 : 360), in which the date of the 
Kabulamena specimen is given incidentally as 28 June (not 27 June as above). 
It is clear that there was a misidentification of a specimen of N. boehmi. 
Evidently this arose from a letter dated 4 February 1941 from Dr. A. Roberts 
to J. M. W. (Roberts 1943). He could not have had a specimen of T. ussheri 
for comparison. The species is not illustrated in Roberts (1940), and in the 

47 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 

text there is a comment on T. ussheri (as T. stictilaemd) "Similar in colour to 
Notafrapus sheppardi, though the lores are said to be white, but the tail 
considerably longer" (N. sheppardi is treated by Brooke, 1966: 6, as a race of 
Neafrapus boehmi). By contrast with T. ussheri, N. boehmi is well known in 
northern Zambia. In particular, White (1945 : 343) saw it in large numbers in 
the Balovale District, but only quotes Winterbottom's records of T. ussheri 
from the same general area, although he (1944: 145) had seen ussheri earlier, 
at the Kafue/Zambezi confluence and Feira. 

Area 2. Benson & Benson (1975 : 10) give sight-records by L. Holloway, 
Mrs. D. B. Hanmer and E. F. J. Garcia of T. ussheri from around baobabs in 
the Mwabvi and Lengwe areas, lower Shire Valley, the first records of any 
kind of the species from Malawi. While investigating the problem of the 
Kabulamena specimen, C. W. B. found a recently incorporated specimen of 
ussheri, from the large collections made by Col. R. Meinertzhagen, bequeathed 
on his death to the British Museum (Natural History). It bears registered 
number 1 96 5. M. 5 448, and is labelled "<£, Port Herald, Nyasaland, 13.9.08". 
The locality can now read "Nsanje, Malawi". The specimen was collected by 
Meinertzhagen during a two-month collecting trip to southern Malawi in 
Sept./Nov. 1908, of which no published account appears to exist. C. W. B. 
and D. Goodwin found that it agreed in colour with T. u. benguellensis rather 
than T. u. stictilaema. Moreover the wing-length was as much as 149 mm 
{cf. Brooke 1971b). 

C. W. B. showed the foregoing to R. K. Brooke, who has prompted the 
following comments, for which C. W. B. is nevertheless solely responsible. It 
is evident from Brooke (1971a, b) that T. ussheri as a whole is catholic in 
habitat, occurring both in areas of evergreen forest and dry deciduous 
woodland, and nesting and roosting in hollows in trees, even adapting to 
buildings. However, in the extreme south of its range T. u. benguellensis may 
be confined to dry deciduous woodland, finding nesting and roosting sites 
only in baobabs. The gap in its range between southwestern Angola (at 
Blaasbalkfontein, Benguela, at c. 13 S, 14 E, and Montipa=Mantipa, 
Mocamedes, 14 39' S, 13 14' E) and, from area 1 above, the Zambezi Valley 
at c. 29 E, may be more apparent than real. The species can escape notice 
very easily. There could be a rather tenuous connection south of the moist 
woodland belt, through southern Angola and northern Botswana, in the 
drier vegetation types 20 and 22, in which baobabs are present (Keay 1959). 
As suggested by M. P. Stuart Irwin (pers. comm.), such a connection could 
be analogous to the case of the more easily observed Long-tailed Starling 
Lamprotornis mevesii {cf. Hall & Moreau 1970: 358). The connection could 
have been better developed in a drier epoch. Thus although Livingstone 
(1975 : 273) suggests that there was a major change in climate in tropical 
Africa some 10,000 years ago, to more humid conditions, inter alia he also 
points out that there was a gradual drying out between 5,000 and 3,000 years 
ago, to conditions somewhat more arid than to-day. Alternatively, a speciali- 
sation of benguellensis to baobabs may be relatively recent, and its occurrence 
at Cassoalla and Vila Salazar in the Cuanza Norte area of northern Angola 
(Brooke 1971b, Traylor 1963) at c. 9 S, 14 30' E might suggest that in this 
area it can still survive in a moister climate in which baobabs would be 
absent. From Keay (1959), Cuanza Norte lies in an isolated area of moist 
forest (vegetation type 7), although admittedly adjacent to type 20, already 
cited as holding baobabs. It is interesting that although Brooke (1971a) gives 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 48 

various records of the species breeding in buildings, there is no evidence of 
this for benguellensis . Although, buildings apart, he only mentions specifically 
use of hollows in baobabs for the species as a whole, other kinds of trees 
must be used in areas where baobabs are absent. Thus Moreau & Moreau 
(1937 : 169) record stictilaema entering holes in a dead Ocotea tree at Amani in 
the humid East Usambara Mts. 

Brooke (pers. comm.) remarks that few species of swifts have their 
distribution governed by that of vegetation, but rather by the availability of 
nesting sites and lack of a competitor with the same wing loading exploiting 
the food supply of the same airspace in the same way. The African Palm 
Swift Cypsiurus parvus is well known to be largely dependent on palms for 
breeding, and T. u. benguellensis may provide an analogy in its dependence on 

References : 

Alexander, B. 1900. An ornithological expedition to the Zambesi River (second part). 

Ibis 7(6): 70-109. 
Benson, C. W. & Benson, F. M. 1975. Studies in some Malawi birds. Arnoldia {Rhod.) 7(32). 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. 

London: Collins. 
Brooke, R. K. 1966. The Bat-like Spinetail Chaetura boehmi Schalow (Aves). Arnoldia 

{Rhod.) 2(29). 

— 1971a. Breeding of swifts in Ethiopian Africa and adjacent islands. Ostrich 42 : 5-36. 

— 1971b. The eastern and southern populations of the Mottled Spinetail. Bull. Brit. Orn. 
CI. 91: 134-135- 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An Atlas of Speciation in African Passerine Birds. Brit. 

Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 
Keay, R. W. J. (Ed.). 1959. Vegetation Map of Africa south of the Tropic of Cancer. London: 

Oxford Univ. Press. 
Livingstone, D. A. 1975. Late quaternary climatic changes in Africa. Annual Review of 

Ecology and Systematic s 6: 249-280. 
Moreau, R. E. & Moreau, W. M. 1937. Biological and other notes on some East African 

birds. Ibis 14(1): 152-174, 321-345. 
Roberts, A. 1940. The Birds of South Africa. London: H. F. & G. Witherby. 

— 1943. A contribution to the ornithology of Barotseland. Ibis 85 : 107. 

Traylor, M. A. 1963. Check-list of Angolan Birds. Publ. Cult. Comp. Diamant. Angola 61. 
White, C. M. N. 1944. Miscellaneous notes on Northern Rhodesian birds. Ibis 86: 139-150. 

— 1945. The ornithology of the Kaonde-Lunda Province, Northern Rhodesia (part III). 
Ibis 87: 309-345. 

Winterbottom, J. M. 1942. A contribution to the ornithology of Barotseland. Ibis 14(6): 

Addresses: C. W. Benson, Dept. of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ. 
Prof. J. M. Winterbottom, 9 Alexandra Avenue, Oranjezicht, Cape Town 8001, R.S.A. 

Juvenile plumages of Cuculus canorus 

and Cuculus gularis in Africa 

by Robert B. Payne 

Received 9 March 1977 
Juveniles of the migrant Palaearctic Cuckoo Cuculus canorus and the African 
Cuckoo C. gularis occur together much of the year in the African region, 
canorus as a wintering migrant and gularis as a resident (perhaps with intra- 
African migrations). 

In discussing their distinguishing characters, I follow Chapin (1939) in 
regarding Cuculus gularis as specifically distinct from Cuculus canorus, a 


[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 

decision compatible with the consistent and conspicuous difference in song 
of the two forms throughout the range of each. The abrupt discontinuity in 
behaviour (Chappuis 1974) coincides with the abrupt discontinuity in bill 
colour and plumage of the adults as well as with a discontinuity in juvenile 
plumage, indicating that the two allopatric forms are probably distinct at the 
species level. Adults are readily distinguished by the yellow bill in gularis, 
black in canorus, and by the white barred outer rectrices of gularis, compared 
with those of canorus, which are unbarred or barred with rufous-brown. The 
juvenile (post-fledging, pre-winter moult) plumage is less well known. 
Juvenile gularis have black bills, and the barring of the rectrices is distinctive 
only in the adult plumage. Chapin (1939) and Friedmann (1948) state that 
juvenile gularis is more grey, and Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1970) add 
that gularis is distinctive in its white barring above and in lacking bars on the 
outer webs of the primaries. However, I do not know of a description that 
discusses how the juveniles they describe were originally identified as to age 
or species. As the western Palaearctic cuckoos winter in Africa, both kinds 
of birds may occur in juvenile plumage in the same range for part of the year. 
Juvenile C. gularis in museum collections of cuckoos taken in Africa were 
examined and identified by three criteria (see Table 1). First, four birds (1-4) 
are known to be local gularis as they were taken in a nest or with the juvenile 
plumage not yet fully developed. In one (No. 4) the plumage was nearly 
fully grown and the bill colour was already yellowish, with the lower 


Specimens of juvenile Cuculus gularis 


Cat. No. 









JC-R 2374 

Ringwood, Glioma, 



i 5 p> 

82 1 




AMNH 624941 

Eil Huma, Somalia 




98 l 


local bird 


BM(NH) 1907 

Salisbury, Rhodesia 


171 1 



local bird 


AMNH 704577 

Okahandja, SW Africa 



185 1 



local bird 


NMR 33531 

Mumbwa district, 








NMR 29817 

Kalulushi, Zambia 








FMNH 268847 

Kalabo, Barotseland, 






mostly adult plumage 


NMR 49286 

Kaluwa Hill, Zambia 







NMR 14082 






6-8 3 

worn, moulting 


FMNH 269650 

Sangmelima, Cameroon 








FMNH 281586 

M'Bengue Bougou, 
Ivory Coast 






moulting, mostly adult 
plumage, "OE" 


AMNH 625039 

Cambo Coquenje, 
Bihe, Angola 







AMNH 625041 

Pedrira, Bihe, 
Chissamba, Bihe, 

1 3/1 1/04 





; 4 . 

AMNH 625044 








AMNH 625031 

Humpata, Angola 







NMR 11427 

Chilanga, Zambia 




J 79 



ANSP 166404 

Lundazi, Zambia 






BM(NH) 1906 

Entebbe, Uganda 




76 7 



BM(NH) 1904. 

Mule ma, Uganda 







CM 1 18405 

Nyamezon, Bafia, 







BM(NH) 1889 








'Feathers still growing 

^Distance (mm) across tomia below mid-point of nostrils 

*Bill damaged by shot 

For abbreviations used in the Catalogue numbers column see Acknowledgements 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 50 

mandible blackish only at the tip. Second, several cuckoos (5-7, 10, 11) had 
begun the post juvenile moult and had grown the definitive adult rectrices 
and the basal half of the lower mandible had turned yellow. In this case the 
adult characters were sufficient to make identification of the remaining 
juvenile plumage characters possible. Third, some specimens (8, 9, 12-21) 
had the bill half yellow but had not yet begun to moult from juvenile into 
adult plumage or had only just begun to moult. These birds were sometimes 
a problem to identify as the bill colour of the bird when collected was not 
indicated on the label and the bill colour had probably changed in museum 
storage. In these cases, for identification the date of collection was checked 
against known dates of local breeding gularis and dates of visiting canorus. In 
southern Africa the breeding season of gularis is October-December: so full 
grown, 2-3 month old gularis that had not yet started moult might occur in 
November and December, a time when similar aged Palaearctic birds also 
would be present in juvenile plumage. Some specimens also might have been 
migrants from other aieas of Africa since both cuckoos are seasonal in 
occurrence in some parts of Africa (Friedmann 1948). 

Juvenile C. canorus were examined from Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and 
India as well as from Africa. Birds in the breeding range of canorus in Europe 
were the main known-identity birds of the study. Moulting African birds 
with some definitive adult plumage (particularly birds with rufous bars, the 
"hepatic" phase, which occurs in Palaearctic and Indian birds but not in 
African birds) and other identifiable dark-billed African juveniles were also 
used as known-identity canorus. Measurements of Indian birds are excluded 
from the data cited below, but colours are included. 

Plumage characters which varied between known juvenile gularis and 
known juvenile canorus were the general plumage colour, particularly brown 
or rufous vs. whitish or grey in the primaries and wing coverts ; the barring 
on the tip of the crown feathers ; and the size and shape of white spots in the 

The general plumage colour of all gularis was grey and all canorus was rufous or 
brown. No gularis was browner than the least brown canorus. C. gularis were 
all "brownish grey" or "grey" with Methuen (Kornerup & Wanscher 1967) 
colours 5C1, 5C2 (nearly all birds), or 5C3 (No. 12); whereas C. canorus 
ranged from "reddish-blond" or "brownish orange" (colours 5C4-6) to 
"reddish golden" or "brownish orange" (colours 6C7-8). The pale spots and 
bars on the remiges and wing coverts in all the juvenile gularis were brownish 
grey or grey and not brownish, though two gularis were stained with brown- 
ish orange on the upperparts. Blown or rufous colour is apparent in juvenile 
European canorus, and also in populations identified as C. c. subtelephonus and 
C. c. telephonus in the trans-Caspian region, India, China and Japan, and one 
should be able to distinguish C. canorus from C. gularis in Africa from all these 
population areas, should they migrate to Africa. 

The drak crown feathers are differingly tipped with white in the two species. 
Both often have 2mm- wide basal areas of white on the feathers (visible if the 
overlying feathers are lifted) and both have some entirely white feathers, 
especially on the nape. In the dark crown feathers, width of the whitish tip in 
gularis ranged from 1 • o to 1 • 8 mm (mean of 15 = 1-20^0-23 mm SD). Two 
young gularis (9, 10, identified by lack of brown in the plumage and by the 
yellow of the bill) not included in these figures, lacked any whitish tips ; the 
plumage was quite worn, and they were both moulting. In canorus, on the 

5 i [Bull. B.O.C. 1 977 : 97(2)] 

other hand, the tip is only narrowly edged with white or buff, with a range of 
o to o • 8 mm (mean of 43 = o • 44±o ' 61 mm). In some young canorus there is 
no pale tip as a result of wear. Four canorus had a tip wider than o • 6 mm, one 
each from Britain, China, Zambia (NMR 46371 — see Acknowledgements), 
and Sudan (ANSP 104223). The last two were identified as canorus by their 
fresh or slightly-worn brownish plumage; the dates are compatible with 
migrant canorus (December and September). 

The primaries. White or buffy bars occur on the outer edges of the primaries 
in all juvenile canorus \ but white notches or bars also occur in 9 of the 21 
juvenile gularis. The inner webs are baried in both cuckoos. The tips of the 
primaries are broadly edged with white in gularis but also in some canorus. 
The scapulars and back feathers of gularis ate often broadly edged with white, 
as Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1970) note, but some canorus are as broadly 
edged with white. 

The spots on the tail are broader in gularis. The third spot (from the tip) of 
the central rectrix measures 08 mm in one gularis (No. 19) but in all the 
others (including the Uganda bird) measures 2-0-3-0 mm (mean of 19 = 
2 '34±°'54 mm) measured at right angles to the edge of the rachis. In 
canorus the spot measures 0-5 to 2-2 mm (mean of 47 = 1-35 zb°* 5^ mm). 
Of the 47 measured, 8 canorus had a spot of 2 • o mm or wider. The widest, 
FMNH 262843, taken in Barotseland, Zambia, on 28 October 1961, was 
listed by Traylor (1965) as gularis, but he noted that it "may be nominate 
canorus, for the yellow on the bill is less extensive than in the adult". The 
yellow in fact is restricted to the gonys, the lateral rami of the lower mandible 
are blackish, the plumage quite dark above with many brownish bars. I 
regard the bird as a canorus with a slightly unusual bill. Most other canorus 
with wide tail spots were taken in Europe. The most rufous specimens tend 
to have the narrowest white tail spots. 

The barring pattern below is not consistently different in the two species, 
though most gularis have a paler throat than most canorus, in which the throat 
is often darker than the belly. Measurements of representative black bars on 
the throat of 17 gularis average 1-17^0-36 mm and black bars on the belly 
average 1 -23^0-61 mm. Comparable figures for 47 canorus are 1 -69^0-76 
mm and 1-47^0-47 mm. The measurements indicate considerable overlap 
with no significant difference between the two cuckoos. Comparable measure- 
ments of the white bars separating the black bars likewise overlap and are 
not included as they vary with the preparation of the museum skins. No 
consistent difference is apparent in barring of the under tail coverts. 

Other measurements taken showed no consistent 01 significant differences 
between gularis and canorus, including wing length, tail length, and bill length 
from nostril and from base of the culmen. 

Bill width. Adult gularis tend to have broader bills than canorus (Benson et 
al. 1 97 1, M. P. S. Irwin). Bill widths were determined for juveniles by measur- 
ing with calipers across the width of the tomia at a level directly below the 
midpoint of the nostrils. Including only those birds in which the remiges and 
rectrices were fully grown, bill width in 1 9 gularis averaged 8 • 04 ^ o • 3 8 8 mm, 
range 7-4-8-4 mm; and in 33 canorus averaged 7-25^0-363 mm, range 
6 • 5-7 • 8 mm. In one gularis (No. 9, excluded from above) from Rhodesia, the 
bill width was only 6 • 8 mm, but was damaged by shot. Bill widths of juvenile 
gularis are nearly all larger than bill widths of juvenile canorus. 

A few specimens in addition to those mentioned above presented problems 

[Bull. B.O.C. J977-- 97(2)1 52 

in identification or deserve further comment. (1). NMR 14082 (No. 9) has 
the smallest tail spots, has traces of primary bars, and has the narrowest bill 
of any bird identified as gularis, but the bill is damaged by shot and the 
measurement may be unreliable. Crown bars are lacking due to wear. The 
grey plumage is worn and moult is in progress, and the date ("1-9" = 1 
September) seems too early for a migrant Palaearctic bird. The date also 
seems wrong for a local southern African bird as gularis is found only from 
September to March-May (Benson et al. 1971); perhaps the specimen is a 
migrant from a breeding population in Africa well north of Rhodesia, as 
suggested to me by M. P. S. Irwin. The collector described the bill as "slate 
above, orange below, fading to slate at tip," indicating that the bird is gularis. (2). 
BM(NH) 1904.10.23.87 (No. 20) is washed with rufous on the throat and 
upper breast and has white barring on the outer webs of the primaries, 
though less than in any canorus in the sample. The white spots of the central 
rectrices are small (o-8 mm). Characters suggesting gularis are the lack of 
brown elsewhere in the plumage, bioad white tips to dark crown feathers 
(terminal crown bars), and the yellow basal half of the bill. Date (early May) 
does not rule out canorus. I regard it as gularis. (3). UMMZ 216722 from 
Transvaal has all the characteristics described above of canorus; the identi- 
fication was queried by Moreau (1972 : 184) and the query led to the present 
note. (4). NMNH 335008, Lake Albert, Butiaba, Uganda, 13 November 1900, 
listed (as 1 901) by Jackson (1938 : 485) as gularis y is heavily barred with rufous 
and dark brown, has the head plumage like that of Palaearctic birds, and has 
a black bill. I regard it as canorus. (5). BM(NH) 1935. 7.9.143 and 144, both 
0*0* collected at Torit, Sudan, on 13 November 1935, are in worn plumage 
with some tan (Methuen 5 C4) in the barring of the primaries. F. O. Cave noted 
the bill colour of the first bird as "black, but greenish below, and yellow at 
the gape", and the second "black, lower mandible yellowish", though it 
looks mostly dark now. The first has a bill width of 7 • 5 mm and the whitish 
tips of the crown feathers are nearly o • 6 mm, but these may have been 
abraded. The second has a bill width of 7 • 3 mm and only a trace of crown 
bars. The worn state of plumage seems compatible with that expected of a 
Palaearctic migrant by mid-No vembei, and I tentatively regard the birds as 
canorus. (6). FMNH 193430 is a canorus taken in Kenya on 6 June 1922, a 
month when canorus normally would have been in the Palaearctic. The bird 
is a $ with several retained, brown-barred juvenile remiges, very worn, but 
otherwise is in adult plumage typical of canorus. No feathers are actively 
growing. The arrested state of moult suggests that the bird was in poor 
condition and unable to complete the moult or to migrate. No other juvenile 
canorus was noted from Africa after early May. (7). BM(NH) 191 
is a juvenile C. canorus taken on 26 July 191 1 at Khattoum. The plumage is 
fresh. The date suggests an unusually early migration from the Palaearctic 
breeding grounds. Cuckoos in Britain breed as early as 1 1 May (Chance 1940) 
and with 1 2 days for incubation, 20 days to fledging and as much as another 
month to independence the cuckoo would still have had time to migrate to 
Sudan; but no other juvenile canorus was noted from Africa before September. 
In summary, juvenile C. gularis differ consistently or nearly so from 
juvenile C. canorus in plumage colour (browns lacking in gularis), in bill 
width and in having the dark crown feathers broadly tipped with at least 1 
mm of white in fresh plumage. There is some overlap in pale marks on the 
edge of the primaries, size of the tail spots, barring on the mantle and the 

53 [Bull. B.O.C. 1 977 : 97(2)] 

barring of the undetparts. Comparison of juvenile C. canorus from Europe, 
central Asia, India, China and Japan indicates no consistent difference in 
plumage among specimens from these areas except that the (few) central 
Asian birds weie paler. I have therefore not attempted to identify subspecies 
of C. canorus wintering in Africa. 

Acknowledgements: For access to specimens I thank F. B. Gill (Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia — -ANSP), W. E. Lanyon (American Museum of Natural History — 
AMNH), D. W. Snow (British Museum [Natural History]— BM[NH]), M. H. Clench 
(Carnegie Museum — CM), M. A. Traylor (Field Museum of Natural History — FMNH), 
K. E. Stager (Los Angeles County Museum), G. R. Cunningham-van Someren (National 
Museum of Kenya), R. L. Zusi (U.S. National Museum of Natural History — 
NMNH), M. P. S. Irwin (National Museum of Rhodesia — NMR), and J. F. R. Colebrook- 
Robjent (personal collection — J.C-R). 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. 

London: Collins. 
Chance, E. P. 1940. The Truth about the Cuckoo. London: Country Life. 
Chapin, J. P. 1939. The Birds of the Belgian Congo, part II. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 75. 
Chappuis, C. 1974. Les oiseaux de l'Ouest Africain. Alauda Suppl. Sonore, Disque no. 1. 
Friedmann, H. 1948. The Parasitic Cuckoos of Africa. Washington, D.C. : Washington 

Acad. Sci. 
Jackson, F. J. 1938. The Birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate. Vol. 1. London: 

Gurney and Jackson. 
Kornerup, A. & Wanscher, J. H. 1967 Methuen Handbook of Colour. London: Methuen. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1970. Birds of West Central and Western Africa, 

Vol. 1. London: Longmans. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London: Academic 

Traylor, M. A. 1965. A collection of birds from Barotseland and Bechuanaland. Ibis 107: 


Address: Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, U.S.A. 

Confirmation of the occurrence of the Egyptian Nightjar 

Caprimulgus aegyptius aegyptius in Ethiopia 

by R. W. Ashjord & R. S. Bray 

Received 1 February 1977 
Urban & Brown (1971) mention the Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius 
as having been included by Smith (1957) in his checklist of the birds of 
Eritrea, on the basis of records by Moltoni & Ruscone (1940). These records 
have been ignored by Mackworth-Praed and Grant (1957) and White (1965). 
In the collection of the British Museum is one specimen labelled Abyssinia, 
but this is very old, and even the area of the collection from which it comes is 
doubtful. Clearly this species has rarely been recorded in Ethiopia, and is not 
known from south of Eritrea. 

On 30 January 1971 whilst catching birds for serum samples in light acacia 
woodland at Lake Koka (8° 26' N, 39 01 ' E) in Shoa Province, Ethiopia, a 
nightjar which subsequently proved to be of this species was collected. The 
identification was confirmed by Mr. D. Goodwin, at the British Museum, as 
the nominate race C. a. aegyptius. 

Dr. J. S. Ash (pers. comm.), who has worked in this area at different times 
of the year, states that he has only recorded two species of nightjar there, the 
Plain Nightjar C. inornatus (one example) and the Slender-tailed Nightjar 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 54 

C. clarus which is very common and breeds. The area is inhabited by a large 
number and variety of Palaearctic migrants. 

This record confirms the occurrences of the Egyptian Nightjar in central 
Ethiopia, and considerably extends its known wintering range. 

Thanks are due to Dr. J. S. Ash of N.A.M.R.U. 5, Addis Ababa for his 
comments, and for having the skin, which remains with him, prepared, and 
to the staff of the British Museum for their assistance in identification. 

References : 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1957. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern Africa, 

Vol. 1. London. 
Moltoni, E. & Ruscone, G. 1940. Gli Uccelli delV Africa Orientale Italiana. Vol. 1. Milano. 
Smith, K. D. 1957. An annotated checklist of the birds of Eritrea. Ibis 99: 1-26. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Checklist of African Non-Passerine Birds. Lusaka. 

Addresses: Wellcome Parasitology Unit 2, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Present address: (R. W. Ashford), Dept. of Pathology, U.P.N.G., P.O. Box 5623, Boroko, 
Papua New Guinea. 

First African records of two Malagasy sea-birds 

by Peter L. Brit ton 

Received 4 February ipjy 
Despite the proximity of some Indian Ocean (Malagasy) islands to the East 
African coast, there is little evidence that their breeding sea-birds reach 
mainland Africa, where frigatebirds (Fregatidae), tropicbirds (Phaethontidae) 
and other characteristic Malagasy breeding sea-birds are rare or unknown. 
This note reports the occurrence of two such species near Mombasa, Kenya, 
during the 1976 southeast monsoon (April-November). 

Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris 

A flock of varying size (110-220) was seen almost daily at Ras Iwetine 
(4 oi' S, 39 44' E), 25 August-28 September 1976, settling on or near a fish 
trap of vertical mangrove poles at high tide, and settling on the outer reef 
when it was exposed. A single bird was present on 2 December. With the 
assistance of R. Haller, a sub-adult male with moulting primaries, stomach 
empty, was collected for the National Museum, Nairobi, on 31 August, 
weighing 97-4 g, wing-length 220 mm. 

An emanciated, recently dead sub-adult, stomach empty, weight 60 g, 
wing-length 209 mm, was found (wings retained) on the top of Kisite Island 
(4 44' S, 39 24' E) on 10 December 1976, when at least 20 were present on 
the island's sand beach; none had been present there on 4 September or 10 
October. P. Hemphill, of the nearby Pemba Channel Fishing Club, reliably 
noted them at sea regularly between September and December 1976 in 
similar numbers (dozens) to the Brown Noddy A. stolidus, though he has 
fished these waters as much as six days a week for many years and has not 
pieviously noted noddies of two sizes. 

A further reliable report of tenuirostris is of at least 5 o seen by R. Haller at 
Ziwayu Island (2 36' S, 40 35' E) on 27 October 1976, from a dhow which 
Haller with others sailed from Mtwapa (3 57' S.) to Kiwaiyu (i° 59' S.) over 
a three week period, during which they sighted stolidus regularly, including 

5 5 [Bull.B.O.C.i 977 : 91 (z)\ 

as many as iooo at Tenewe Island (2 27' S, 40 47' E), but no other tenuiros- 
tris. Small numbers of stolidus breed on the north Kenya coast (Britton & 
Brown 1974), and it is regularly reported by anglers at sea, but there are few 
inshore records (Britton & Britton 1976). It was, however, widespread in 
scores or hundreds on the north Kenya coast in August and September 1976 
(L. H. Brown, W. J. Plumb). The rather brown sub-adult tenuirostris was 
not easy to recognise when alone, but readily recognisable when seen 
alongside the laiger stolidus. 

With the assistance of the curator, the Ras Iwetine specimen has been 
compared with seven National Museum specimens of A. t. tenuirostris, 
collected by Parker (1970) in the Amirantes, 1 500 km east of Kenya and the 
nearest breeding station (Bailey 1968). This specimen and other Kenya birds 
have the characteristic head pattern of nominate tenuirostris, which is confined 
to the western Indian Ocean where it is mainly sedentary around breeding 
sites (Bailey 1968). Though Ashmole (1962), White (1965) and others con- 
sider the White-capped Noddy A. minutus of the Pacific and Atlantic 
Oceans conspecific with A. tenuirostris, under the latter name, I prefer 
to follow Murphy (1936), Alexander (1963) and Serventy et a/. (1971) in 
retaining them as two distinct species, for the reasons given by the last 
authors. White (1965) lists tenuirostris for Africa, referring to A. minutus 
atlanticus in West Africa, but there is no previous record of Indian Ocean 
tenuirostris in African waters. In 208 days of observations in the western 
Indian Ocean, Bailey (1968) recotded this species only four times, all around 
5 8° E, at most 320 km from a known nesting site, so that its occurrence in 
African waters should be considered exceptional. If wind-blown by the 
southeast monsoon, Kenyan birds may well have originated from Mauritius 
or Cargados Carajos, 3000 km to the southeast, rather than the geographically 
closer Amirantes. 

Red-footed Booby Sula sula 

An immature bird, accidentally hooked on a lure by R. S. Richards while 
fishing 8 km off Kilifi at 3 37' S, 39 56' E on 24 October 1976, is still alive 
at Birdland, Malindi, in the care of Mr. & Mrs. B. M. B. Glover who have 
kindly let me examine it on several occasions. It was successfully released by 
Richards three times, flying strongly from the roof of his boat to take the 
lure again, but it would not fly a fourth time. Its extreme tameness led 
Richards to believe that it might have been a pet aboard a ship, though it is 
seldom at ease in the presence of unfamiliar people at Birdland. When first 
seen on 21 November it was brown all over but by 15 January 1977 it had 
white feathers on the lesser coverts of both wings and on the forecrown. 
With measurements (mm) of 363 (wing), 84 (bill) and 36 (tarsus) it is too 
small for other Sula species (Alexander 1963, Serventy et al. 1971). The tail is 
broken but tail feathers are narrow, as described by Murphy (1936), maxi- 
mum width 26 mm. Legs and feet are pink, irides beige with some dark brown 
spots, bill blackish and facial skin blue. The bare skin on the throat was black 
in November but blue in January. 

According to White (1965) there is no satisfactory record from African 
coastal waters. A record from Port Sudan on 7 November 1920 (Ticehurst 
1924) is included by Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952) and Meinertzhagen 
(1954), but it is based on only a wing retained for Ticehurst by the keeper of 
the Sanganeb Light, with no details of plumage or measurements, and it is 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 56 

not included in the avifauna of Sudan by Cave & Macdonald (1955). Bailey 
(1968) saw fair numbers of both adults and immatures between the Seychelles 
and East Africa in September and October, though most of his records 
were neai breeding stations to the north and east of Madagascar. Away from 
Latham Island, Tanzania, where both S. kucogaster and S. dactylatra breed 
(Parker 1970), boobies are uncommon in East Africa. I know of no inshore 
records in Kenya, where most reports are the casual observations of anglers 
who cannot be expected to identify the immature birds which form the 
majority of sightings. All western Indian Ocean nesting sites lie to the 
southeast of Kenya, so that wandering immatures may reach East African 
waters regularly during the southeast monsoon. 

References : 

Alexander, W. B. 1963. Birds of the Ocean (2nd ed.). New York: Putnam. 

Ashmole, N. P. 1962. The Black Noddy Anous tenuirostris on Ascension Island. Part 1. 

General Biology. Ibis 103b: 235-273. 
Bailey, R. S. 1968. The pelagic distribution of sea-birds of the western Indian Ocean. Ibis 

no: 493-5I9- 
Britton, P. & Britton, H. 1976. Records Section (Birds). E. Afr. nat. Hist. Soc. Bull. 1976: 

Britton, P. L. & Brown, L. H. 1974. The status and breeding behaviour of East African Lari. 

Ostrich 45 : 63-82. 
Cave, F. O. & Macdonald, J. D. 195 5. Birds of the Sudan. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern Africa. 

Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green & Co. 
Meinertzhagen, R. 1954. Birds of Arabia. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Murphy, R. C. 1936. Oceanic Birds of South America. New York: Am. Mus. nat. Hist. 
Parker, I. S. C. 1970. Some ornithological observations from the western Indian Ocean 

Atoll Res. Bull. 136: 211-220. 
Serventy, D. L., Serventy, V. & Warham, J. 1971. The Handbook of Australian Sea-birds. 

Sydney: Reed. 
Ticehurst, C. B. 1924. Birds from the Red Sea lights. Ibis (11)6: 282-283. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check List of African Non-Passerine Birds. Lusaka: Govt. 


Address: Box 90163, Mombasa, Kenya. 

First known breeding of the Ruddy Shelduck 
Tadorna ferruginea south of the Sahara 

by J. S. Ash 

Received 12 February 1977 

In April 1975, accompanied by my wife and daughter, I travelled over the 
Saneti Plateau in the Bale Mountains of southern Ethiopia. This is a remote 
and beautiful area lying between 3800 and 4377 m, averaging about 4140 m 
(Waltermire 1975). Typically the vegetation is afro-alpine between these 
altitudes, and in this area is above the Erica arborea zone. There are many 
small tarns, most of which do not seem to have been mapped, scattered about 
the plateau, but many are grouped around 6°5i'N, 39°49'E (the latest map 
names this mountain Sante Ye'Terara Ch'ae). 

Many of the tarns held a pair of Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, which 
were apparently fairly common in the area, most of them paired or single. 
On the larger lake of some 75 hectares, which I shall call Lake Deemtu 
(3890 m), there were at least 5 2 ducks present on 6 April. Such large numbers 

57 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977' 97(*)1 

of this species are quite unprecedented in Ethiopia (see below), and the date 
is late for Palaearctic migrants : breeding seemed possible, and although the 
birds' behaviour - the attachment of pairs to particular restricted areas and 
their vociferous reaction to our arrival - gave support to this, we were 
unable to obtain any direct evidence. 

Dr. S. J. Tyler visited the area 3 weeks later in May 1975, and especially 
looked for signs of breeding. She did not reach Lake Deemtu, but found 
many pairs on some of the smaller tarns, and recorded behaviour similar to 
that we had seen a month earlier (Anon 1975). Mr. T. Fison, a non- 
ornithologist, trekked over the area on mule-back a year later in May 1976. 
Following my description of the birds, he made a point of looking out for 
them, and recorded about 7 pairs on the tarns he passed; he did not visit 
Lake Deemtu. 

I revisited the area, 21-23 J une J 97^» with m y wife and Dr. and Mrs. 
V. H. Lee. We found 4 pairs and 3 single birds on about ten of the smaller 
tarns we examined, but we put our main effort into reaching Lake Deemtu, 
which can be reached from a high point to the east in about an hour's walk 
on a compass bearing. On 22 June there were at least 46 adult Ruddy Shel- 
duck present, mostly in ones, twos and threes, and with them three broods of 
young. The oldest brood consisted of two ducklings judged to be 3-4 weeks 
old, the next had five young about 2 weeks old, and the third had ten young 
7-10 days old. On our approaching a brood, the adult - we never saw more 
than one adult with a brood - promptly abandoned its young and flew off for 
a considerable distance without showing undue distress. When we left the 
lake after about an hour both the larger broods could be seen, each with an 
attendant parent. 

Lake Deemtu is roughly circular, about a kilometre in diameter, but with 
a small southerly extension. There are several small rocky islets, two of 
which have some vegetation including several Giant Lobelias Lobelia 
rhyncopetalum, and at the northwest edge a stretch of stone cliffs reaching to 
about 45 m. All the smaller tarns seem to lack the islets and cliffs, although 
one other, apparently named Garba Guracha, at about 6°5 3'N, 39°5 2'E, 
visited by Fison, and with duck on it, was surrounded by stone cliffs on three 

On my first visit, 6 April 1975, there were large numbers of waterfowl and 
wetland birds of 17 species on Lake Deemtu, as well as 12 characteristic 
landbird species in the immediate area, and at a slightly lower altitude 7 
additional species (see Appendix). The list includes, astonishingly, over half 
of Ethiopia's endemic species of birds in this small area, and in addition there 
are several particularly interesting endemic mammals such as the Simien 
Fox Cam's simensis and Mountain Nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni. It is therefore 
gratifying that the Saneti Plateau is included in the proposed Bale Mountains 
National Park. 

Urban & Brown (1971) describe Ruddy Shelducks as Palaearctic migrants 
Sep-Mar, throughout the country at above 2000 m, uncommon to rare on 
larger freshwater lakes and rivers, alkaline lakes and highland streams and 
marshes up to 3700 m. They further classify this montane habitat as : a) Giant 
Lobelia - Alchsmilla - tussock grass moorland, at 3800-4100 m, and b) Giant 
heath {Erica) moorland at 3500-3800 m. The birds we saw on the Saneti 
Plateau were all above 3800 m, but we described the habitat as open He/i- 
chrysum scrub with Giant Lobelia patches, i.e., the "paramo belt" of Lind & 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 




Altitude (m) 




15.20N, 38.55E 



Dal-Fiume 1907 

Angua Meshf 




Moltoni & Ruscone 1944 

Lake Abiata 

7.40N, 38.3 5E 



Urban 1971 

Upper Ueb* 

f.6.jiN, 39.32E 


Sev. prs. 

L. H. Brown 


9.03N, 38.40E 



Urban 1971 

nr. Dinshu* 

7.o 5 N, 39.45E 



Urban 1971 

nr. Dinshu* 

7.05N, 39.45E 



Urban 1971 


11.43N, 41.00E 



Hill et al. 1970 


8.50N, 38.44E 



E. K. Urban 


8.50N, 38.44E 




Upper Ueb* 

6.5 iN, 39.32E 



Waltermire 1975 


8.50N, 38.44E 



Moore 1970 


10.15N, 40.28E 




Saneti Plateau* 

See text 

See text 



nr. Mt. Gaysay* 

7.12N, 39.45E 




Saneti Plateau* 

See text 

See text 


Anon 1975 

Saneti Plateau* 

See text 

See text 


T. Fison 

Saneti Plateau* 

See text 

See text 



Morrison (1974). Moreau (1972) states that this shelduck is resident in 
southern Spain and the Maghreb, but that in its main range from the Aegean 
eastwards to Amurland, it is largely migratory, most going to southern Asia, 
though in the Sudan it is listed as common north of Khartum; he also states 
that a very few have recently been found in Abyssinia. 

With the discovery of a breeding population in Ethiopia, there must now 
be doubt as to whether other records within the country refer, as assumed up 
to now, to Palaearctic migrants. Table 1 lists all the records I have been able 
to trace. 

Occurrences of Tadorna ferruginea in Ethiopia 


17 Dec 1904 

10 Aug 1965 

12 Feb 1966 

8 & 22 Oct 1967 
Feb 1967 
early Aprl 1968 
1 966-1 969 

13 Jan 1969 

9 Nov 1969 
post- 1 969 
24 Jan 1970 
7 & 9 Feb 1975 
6 Apr 1975 

10 May 1975 
10 May 1975 
May 1976 
21-22 Jun 1976 

* All these observations are in the same general area of the Bale Mountains and are within the proposed National Park. 

f Moltoni & Ruscone (1944) refer to this locality as "Angua Mesh presso il Monte Erer", which I am unable to trace. 
Italian maps of this period show only one Mt. Erer at 03 52' N, 39° 46' E, close to the Kenya border, but this seems 
unlikely habitat for any duck. Urban (1971) does not refer to this record, but does include Dal-Fiume's (1907) from 

The records based on the Bale Mountains, in February and April to June, 
include the breeding population, which is presumably a resident population 
restricted to this small area of open plain and scattered tarns lying to the 
northeast of Lake Deemtu. Other records in the same neighbourhood, such 
as those at Dinshu and Gaysay in February, April and May are presumably 
local wanderers from this population, which may indeed be larger and more 
widespread, since Waltermire (1975) reports shelducks from the upper Ueb, 
as also does Urban (1971), though without indicating numbers. The map in 
Waltermire's paper shows several tarns around 6°5i'N, 39°32'E, apparently 
a habitat similar to the Saneti Plateau and thus suitable for shelduck. 

The remaining records comprise at least 1 1 individuals in scattered locali- 
ties between 10 August and 9 February. These may well be Palaearctic 
migrants, but equally well may be wanderers from the Bale Mountains. 

The fact that this species was not recorded from the Bale Mountains before 
1967 does not imply that a new population had established itself there. This 
part of Ethiopia is very difficult to travel in and there must have been very 
few visitors prior to that time. The spate of new records in other parts of the 
country could be credited to a new population in Bale, but they are just as 
likely to have been due to the influx of keen observers about that time and to 
the formation of a local wildlife society. Another area which needs to be 
watched for possible breeding is the Gefersa/Akaki region which resembles 
the habitat of this species in Morocco, though it is very different from the 
Bale Mountain habitat. 

59 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)1 

The population of Tadorna Jerruginea in the Saneti Plateau aiea is probably 
about 30-35 pairs, but with other suitable habitat known to exist in this 
poorly explored country, there may be twice this number. A thorough search 
of the area, preferably in May or June would be very rewarding. 

Acknowledgements : Some of the above observations were made during the course of 
research supported in part by the Naval Medical Research & Development Command 
Work Unit No. MR041.09.01-0014DGHJ and the Office of Naval Research under Con- 
tract No. N00014-67-A-0399-0009. The opinions and assertions in this scientific report 
are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Navy Depart- 
ment or of the naval service at large. I am most grateful to Dr. E. K. Urban, who provided 
me with information about his observations and to Dr. C. K. Wallace who commented on 
a draft of this paper. 

References : 

Anon (Tyler, S. J.) 1975. Ruddy Shelduck in the Bale Mountains. Eth. Wildlife & N.HS. 

Newsletter 98: 3. 
Dal-Fiume, C. 1907. Catalogo di una collezione di uccelli della Colonia Eritrea. Alti. Soc. 

Ital. Sci. Nat. Milano 46: 73-103. 
Hill, G. G., Hill, M., Santi, G. & Robertson, L. 1970. Dubte Plantation checklist of birds. 

Walia 2: 41-65. 
Lind, E. M. & Morrison, M. E. S. 1974. East African Vegetation. Longman: London. 
Moltoni, E. & Ruscone, G. G. 1944. Gli uccelli delP Africa orientate I taliana. Pt. II. Milano. 
Moore, E. 1970. Society News - January outing. Eth. Wildlife & N.H.S. Newsletter 37: 1. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. Academic Press: 

Smith, K. D. 1957. An annotated list of the birds of Eritrea. Ibis 99: 1-26, 307-337. 
Urban, E. K. 1971. Status of the Palaearctic Wildfowl occurring in Ethiopia. Proc. 3rd Int. 

Reg. Meeting, Cons. Wildfowl Resources, Leningrad. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia. Haile Sellassie I 

University Press: Addis Ababa. 
Waltermire, R. G. 1975. A National Park in the Bale Mountains. Walia 6: 20-24. 


Birds seen in April 1975 and June 1976 at Lale Deemtu, Ethiopia, 3890 m a.s.l. 

On 6 April 1975 large numbers of wildfowl were present, including Teal Anas crecca 2, 
Yellow-billed Duck A. and/data 7, Pintail A. acuta 200, Garganey A. querquedula 1, Shoveler 
A. clypeata 250. Other wetland species there or in the immediate area (* = endemic to 
Ethiopia) included Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis, Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata* , Blue- 
winged Goose Cyanochen cyonoptera* , Wattled Crane Grus carunculatus, Rouget's Rail Rallus 
rougetii* ', Spot-breasted Plover Vanellus melanocephalus* , Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola, 
Common Sandpiper T. hypoleucos and Little Stint Calidris minuta. 

In June 1976, there were 2 Shovelers still present, as well as Black Duck A. sparsa 2, 
Wigeon A.penelope 6 and Crested Coot Fulica cristata 4. Characteristic land birds seen in the 
immediate vicinity included Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus, Grey-wing Francolinus psilo- 
laemus, Chestnut-naped Francolin F. castaneicollis, White-collared Pigeon Columba albi torques* , 
Short-crested Lark Galerida malabarica, Pale Crag Martin Hirundo fuligula arabica, Red- 
throated Pipit Ant bus cervinus, Abyssinian Longclaw Macron) x flavicollis* ', Hill Chat Cer- 
comela sordida, Black-headed Siskin Serinus nigriceps* , Slender-billed Chestnut- winged 
Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris and Chough Pyyrhocorax pyrrhocorax. 

In addition to the 7 endemics listed above 7 others occur in the same area at a slightly 
lower altitude: Yellow-fronted Parrot Poicephalus flavifrons* , Black- winged Lovebird 
Agapornis taranta* , Golden-backed Woodpecker Dendropicos abyssinicus* , Abyssinian 
Catbird Parophasma galinieri*, White-backed Black Tit Parus leuconotus*, Black-headed 
Forest Oriole Oriolus monacha* and Thick-billed Raven Corvus crassirostris* . 

Thus over half of Ethiopia's endemic species of birds can be found in this relatively small 

Address: Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Naval Medical 
Research Unit No. 5, APO New York 09319. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 60 

Blyth's Pipit Anthus godlewskii in the Western Palaearctic 

by Kenneth Williamson 

Received 17 February 1977 
When preparing a paper in 1963 ('The identification of the larger pipits' — 
Brit. Birds (1963) 56: 285-292), I found a specimen in the British Museum 
(Natural History), Tring, determined as "Anthus campestris" which I pointed 
out had been wrongly identified — since when it has been placed with the 
Blyth's Pipits A. godlewskii. The specimen was collected at Biighton, Sussex 
in October 1882 and is ex coll. Swaysland, reg. no. 83-10-10- 1. It has been 
examined recently by Dr. D. W. Snow and P. Coulston, both of whom agree 
with my identification. In my paper I commented that A. godlewskii could 
occur as a vagrant in Britain, and despite a rejection of this view by Grant 
("Field identification of Richard's and Tawny Pipits" — Brit. Birds (1972) 65 : 
287-290) one was obtained in Finland in September 1975. It therefore seems 
appropriate to record the B.M. specimen, the first and only one known from 
the British Isles, and the following are the details of identification of this skin, 
which in plumage is similar to Richard's Pipit A. novae see landiae richardi. 


Wing 85 mm. Tail 62 mm. Bill (to skull) 16 mm. 

Tarsus 28 mm. Hind claw 11 mm. 

Wing formula : 2nd= 3 rd=4th; 5 th, 1 mm. shorter ; emarginated 2nd~4th. 

Penultimate tail-feather; point of white wedge on inner web 20 mm. from 
tip; ultimate 10 mm. of shaft white. [See Hall "Notes on specific identification 
of the Tawny Pipit {Anthus campestris), Blyth's Pipit (A. godlweskii) and 
Richard's Pipit {A. novae seelandiae) in Asia" — /. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. (1957) 
54: 726-731; Hall "The Taxonomy and identification of pipits — genus 
Anthus" — Bull. Brit. Mus. {Nat. Hist.) Zool. (1961) 7: 243-289, pis. 56-61; 
and Williamson (1963) ]. 

The wing and tail measurements are at the low limit of the range for A. n. 
richardi given by Hall and by Williamson, who examined 30 and 24 specimens 
respectively. They fall within the ranges for campestris and godlewskii. Tail 
length expressed as a percentage of wing-length is 72, which is well outside 
the range found for richardi (75-88) and within that found tor godlewskii (68- 
81). It is also below the limit found for campestris (75-83). 

Bill length is within the range for both campestris and godlewskii. Tarsus 
length is at the upper limit for both species and at the lower limit for richardi 
(Hall's and my own measured series). The bill is not broad and deep as it is 
in richardi, being similar in structure to campestris. The wing/tarsus ratio is 
2 • 9 which falls outside the range 3-3-3-8 given by Hall for campestris, and is 
at the low limit of 2 • 9 - 3-3 for richardi. 

The hind claw is curved, not straight as it is in most richardi, and the 
curvature is typical of godlewskii. It falls well short of the 14-19 mm given for 
30 specimens o£ richardi hy Hall, and the 13J-19 mm of my own series of 24. 
1 1 mm is rare in campestris and is in the middle of the range for godlewskii. 

The tail pattern matches that of godlewskii. 

Characters affirming the error of the original identification of the Brighton 
bird as Anthus campestris are : 

61 [Bull.B.O.C. 1977:91(2)] 

(a) plumage, similar to n. richardi, not to campestris; 

(b) wing/tail ratio outside measured range; 

(c) wing/tarsus ratio outside measured range; 

(d) hind-claw too long; 

(e) tail pattern "wrong". 

Distinction then remains to be made between A. godlewskii and small 
aberrant richardi. The wing/tail ratio and hind claw measurements exclude 
richardi. The only characters suggestive of richardi (and neither of these 
excludes godlewskii) are the plumage and the wing/tarsus ratio. On the other 
hand the tail pattern is typical of godlewskii, and the other characters detailed 
above support the identification. 
Address: British Trust for Ornithology, Beech Grove, Tring, Herts. 

Further bird weights from Panama 

by Joseph G. Straucb^Jr. 

Received 18 February 1977 
Recently Burton (1973, 1975) published the weights of birds collected in 
Panama and Columbia during the British Trans-American Expedition, 
1 97 1-2. During 197 1-3 I recorded a series of weights in Panama which 
greatly augments his data. In contrast to Burton's specimens, almost all of 
mine were sexed by direct examination of gonads. Most of them are now 
preserved as skeletons in the collection of The University of Michigan 
Museum of Zoology. Weights recorded to the nearest gramme were taken 
with a Pesola balance soon after death. Weights lecorded to the nearest tenth 
of a gramme were taken with an Ohaus triple-beam balance on birds which 
had been sealed in plastic bags and stored on ice soon after death and weighed 
later in the same day. In all, there are 540 weights of 207 species, 80 of which 
were also reported by Burton. 

Unless otherwise indicated, specimens were obtained in lowland areas of 
Panama Province and the Pacific half of the Panama Canal Zone. (My eastern- 
most collecting localities overlap Burton's two westernmost collecting 
localities.) Specimens collected on the Pipeline Road in the Canal Zone are 
included under this heading even though some of them were taken on the 
Atlantic side of the Continental Divide. Specimens were also obtained at 
Cerro Jefe (CJ: about 1100 m a.s.l., eastern Panama Province), 9 15' N, 
79 25' W; Cerro Campana (CC: about 1000 m a.s.l., western Panama Pro- 
vince), 8° 40' N, 79 55' W; Cerro Punta (CP: about 1800 m a.s.l., Chiriqui 
Province), 8° 55 N, 82 35' W; near Changuinola, Bocas del Toro Province 
(BT), 9 30' N, 8 2 30' W; and on the Atlantic side of the Canal Zone and 
adjacent Colon Province (AS). Details on most of these areas may be found 
in Ridgely (1976). The information for each specimen includes location (if 
not from the Pacific lowlands), sex, month, weight (in grammes), and 
breeding condition if indicated by gonad development, in that order. 
Nomenclature follows Ridgely (1976). 

Crypturellus soui: $ Apr. 260 • 5 

Hydranassa tricolor: $ Oct. 283-7 

Agamia agami: $ Mar. 602-5 

Tigrisoma mexicanum : $ Mar. 1085-1 

Cochlearius cochlear ius: (AS) $ Sep. 503-1 (breeding) 

Micrastur semitorquatus : $ Aug. 513-0 

Por^ana Carolina: $ Nov. 50-8 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 62 

Gallinula chloropus: <£ Sep. 332-1 
Jacanajacana: <£ Aug. 84*5 
Pluvialis squatarola: $ Feb. 196-2 
Cbaradrius semipalmatus : $$ Feb. 39-3; Nov. 36-9; 22 Mar. 42-4; Oct. 41-4; Nov. 

37-0, 38-6, 38-6, 39-1, 39-2, 39-5; Dec. 37-1, 40-0, 45-0 
Cbaradrius collaris: $£ Feb. 30-9; Oct. 26-5, 26-7; Nov. 26-1, 31-0; Dec. 27-5; 22 
Feb. 28-1, 29-0, 29-2, 30-0; Aug. 28-5; Oct. 29-0, 30-4; Nov. 25*8, 26-1, 27-7, 
29-5; Dec. 27-5 
Cbaradrius wilsonia: 00* Feb. 48 • 6 ; Mar. 5 2 • 2, 5 2 • 9, 5 3 • 1 , 54 • 3, 5 5 • 1, 66 • 2, 67 • o ; Oct. 
45-2, 50-4, 63-2; Nov. 48-2, 48-9, 50-2, 53-1, 54-1, 54-6; Dec. 50-9;?$ Feb. 
65 -5; Mar. 49-4, 54-8, 59-7, 70-4, 8o-o; Oct. 48-4, 49-4, 49-8, 52-0,54-4, 55-6, 
55'9> 5 6 ' 1 , 57*i, 57*4; Nov. 48-9, 53-4, 6o-o; Dec. 47-2, 54-4 
Bartramia longicauda: &$ Oct. 125-5, 130-6 
Numenius phaeopus: <$ Jan. 385-6 
Tringa flavipes : (AS) 6* Nov. 71-3 
Catoptrophorus semipalmatus: <$ Apr. 406-2; 22 Jan. 314-6; Feb. 348-8; Apr. 266-3, 

Aphri^a virgata: $ Feb. 1 5 5 • 3 ; 2 Feb. 1 48 • o 
Calidris alba: 2 Feb. 51-1 

Calidris mauri: $$ Jan. 21-9; Mar. 30-0; Dec. 24-8; 2 Feb. 26-9 
Sterna hirundo: 0*6* Feb. 97-6, 108-4; May 105 -6, 121-6; 2 May 105 -6 
Thalasseus sandvicensis : 2 May 201-8 
Columba cqyennensis: (BT) 2 Nov. 250 

Columbina minuta: o* Jun. 37-0; 2 Jun. 35-6 (both breeding) 
Columbina talpacoti: <J Oct. 44-4; $2 Sep. 47; Oct. 41 -2 

Claravis pretiosa: $$ Apr. 69-0; Aug. 68-5 (breeding): 2 Aug. 74-8 (egg in oviduct) 
Leptotila cassinii: (AS) ? Feb. 166-9 
Brotogeris jugular is 7 2 Feb. 68-3 
Ama^pna autumnalis: (AS) $ Mar. 411-2 
Piqya minuta: 2 Jan. 43-8 

Crotophaga major: <$$ Jan. 166 • 7 ; Feb. 162- 1 ; 22 Feb. 139-5; Apr. 145-1 
Crotophaga ani: <$<$ Feb. 123-7; May 118-7, I 33' I 5 J 1111 - n6-8; Sep. 107-7, In '6, 
115-6; Oct. 1 14- 5; Nov. 121 -7; Dec. 124- 3; 22 Apr. 88-7, 89-7; May 84-5, 89-0 
93-8, 94-8; Jun. 94-4, 97*5, 106-1; Sep. 81 -8, 85-4; Nov. 86-5 
Crotophaga sulcirostris: £<$ May 68-i, 70-2, 84-1; Sep. 77-9; Oct. 62-0, 71-6, 71-6, 
73-8; Nov. 70-3; Dec. 6i-i; 22 Jan. 67-2; Apr. 57-1, 59*1, 63-8; May 55*3, 
6o-8, 64-1; Nov. 63-0; Oct. 61-9, 63-8, 66-7; Dec. 63-0 

(BT)cJ(jApr. 84-6; Nov. 83-5, 85 -6, 87-2;?$ Apr. 64-6, 66-2, 79- 8; Nov. 66- 1, 
66-7, 70-2 
Tapera naevia : 22 Apr. 52-4; Jun. 56-8 (breeding) 
Cbordeiles acutipennis: 2 Jan. 46 • 3 
Chaetura brachyura: 2 Jun. 16 -8 
G lauds hirsuta: <$$ Jan. 6 • 6 ; Sep. 8 • 2 
Phaethornis guy: (CP) <$ Apr. 6-i 
Phaetbornis superciliosus : 6* Aug. 6 • 7 
Anthracothorax nigricollis: $ Jan. 7 • o ; 2 Aug. 6 • 7 
Chlorostilbon assimilis: $$ Feb. 3-7; Sep. 3-4; (BT) £ Apr. 4-1 
Tbalurania colombica: (CC) <J6* Apr. 4-6, 4-6 
Damopbila julie: ££ Jan. 3 • 3 ; Aug. 3 • 6, 4 • 4 
Goldmania violiceps: (CJ) $6* Apr. 3-8, 4-0; 22 Feb. 3-9; Apr. 3-4 (breeding), 3-6 

(breeding), 3 • 8 
Ama^ilia edward: $<$ Oct. 5-1, 5 -4; 22 Jan. 4- 3 ; Sep. 4-3 (breeding), 5 • 2 (breeding) ; 

Oct. 4-7 
Ama^ilia t^acatl: $$ Jan. 5 • 1 ; Oct. 4-4; (BT) ? Apr. 5-6 
Chalybura buffonii: <$$ Sep. 6-8 (breeding); Oct. 6-9, 7-0; 2 Apr. 7-9 
Lampornis castaneoventris: (CP) $ Apr. 6- 3 ; 22 Apr. 4-7, 5-0, 5-3 
Heliodoxajacula: (CP) <$ Apr. 9 • 5 
Heliomaster longirostris : <$ May 6-9 
Selasphorus scintilla: (CP) 2 Apr. 2-0 
Trogon aurantiiventris: (CC) $ Apr. 68 • 5 ; 2 Apr. 67-4 
Trogon rufus: 2 Jan. 52-1 
Electron platyrbynchum: 2 Jan. 61-2 
Momotus momota: ? Apr. 94-0 

63 [Bull.B.O.C.i 977 : 91 (z)] 

Notharchus macrorhynchus : $ Dec. 106-2 

Notbarchus pec tor alls: $ Mar. 69-1 

Malacoptila panamensis: $ Jan. 36-9; ? Mar. 41-9 

Nonnula frontalis: (AS) $ Oct. 19-5 

Monasa morphoeus: $ Mar. 90 • 5 

Aulacorhyncbus prasinus : (CP) $ Apr. 167 (egg in oviduct) 

Picumnus olivaceus: $ Aug. 10 -o 

Celeus loricatus: S Oct. 78 • 5 ; $ Mar. 79 • 8 

Dryocopus lineatus: $ Apr. 177-7 

Melanerpes rubricapillus : $ Mar. 47-0 

Melanerpes pucherani: $ Apr. 75 • 8 ; ? Mar. 60-4 

Campephilus melanoleucos: <$ Oct. 225-3 (breeding) 

Dendrocincla fuliginosa: (AS) <J6* Mar. 36-0, 42-5 

Dendrocolaptes certbia: S<$ Mar. 70 • o ; Sep. 71 • 7 ; $ Mar. 73 • 9 ; (AS) $ Mar. 72-7 

Xiphorhynchus gut tat us: °. May 48 • 9 ; ? May 58-2 

Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus: <$<$ Feb. 53-8; Oct. 55-1 

Synallaxis albescens: °. Apr. 14-2 

Xenops minutus: $$ Jan. 11-2; Sep. 12-0 

Sclerurus guatemalensis:^ Mar. 36-0 

Cymbilaimus lineatus: (AS) cJ Mar. 32-9 

Taraba major: <$ Jul. 66-4 

Thamnophilus doliatus: $ May 23-9 

Thamnophilus punctatus: $ Mar. 22 • 8 ; $ Mar. 22 • 1 

Myrmotherula fulviventris : °. Mar. 10*3; ? May 9 • 9 

Myrmotherula axillaris: So Mar. 7-9, 8 • 1 

Cercomacra tyrannina: (CC) ? Apr. 15-3 

C ercomacr a nigricans: & Mar. 17-2 

Gymnocichla nudiceps: (AS) <J Mar. 27-9 

Myrmeci^a exsul: $ Nov. 26-1 

Gymnopitbys leucaspis: <$<$ Mar 29-4 (breeding), 29-8 (breeding), 31 -o; °- Mar. 32-3 

Hylophylax naevioides: SS Mar. 16-2; Sep. 15-5 

Phaenostictus mcleannani: $6* Mar. 50 • 5 , 51-6;?$ Mar. 51-5; May 44 • 9 

Pipra coronata: $ Nov. 10 • 7 ; °. Nov. 10-7 

Pipra mentalis: $ Mar. 14-1 

Chiroxiphia lanceolata: <$& Apr. 17-5; May 15-6;$ May 22-3 (breeding) 

Corapipo altera: (CC) <$$ Mar. 11-5, 12-3;$ Apr. 12-6 

Manacus vitellinus: S6 May 18 -o; Aug. 18-7; $ Aug. 14-9 

Schiffornis turdinus: °. Mar. 33-1 

Attila spadiceus: $ Nov. 38-8 

Laniocera rufescens: 3 Mar. 48 • 1 

Pachyramphus cinnamomeus : ? May 20 • 1 

Pachyramphus polychopterus : $ Jul. 20*4; (BT) °- Apr. 23 • 6 

Tityra inquisitor: <$ Apr. 46 • 1 

Querula pur pur at a: ? Mar. ioi-6 

Colonia colonus: °- Jan. 16-2 (breeding) 

Fluvicola pica:$ Apr. 10-4 (imm.) 

Muscivora forficata: <$ Sep. 27*4 

Legatus leucopbaius: <$ Aug. 24-8 

Sirystes sibilator: $ Feb. 35-2 (breeding) 

Myiodynastes maculatus: $ Feb. 44*3 (breeding) 

Megarhyncbus pitangua: °. Apr. 82-2 (egg in oviduct); (BT) $ Nov. 67-6 

Myio^etetes cayanensis: S6 Feb. 25 • 4 (imm.) ; Aug. 24 • 8 ; $ Feb. 23-2 (breeding) 

Pitangus sulphuratus: $ Aug. 63-7 

Pitangus lictor: (J<J May 23-1, 23-6 

Myiarchus crinitus: <$ Feb. 36-5 

Myiarchus panamensis: $ Mar. 28-1 (breeding) 

Myiarchus tuberculijer : $ Apr. 17-7; ? Mar. 20-4; (CJ) <$ Feb. 21-3 

Nuttallornis borealis: <$ Sep. 30-5 

Contopus virens: $ Oct. 13*5 

Contopus sordidulus: <J Oct. 13-0 

Myiobius sulphureipygius: £<$ Oct. 11 -8, 12-7 

Myiophobus fasciatus : $ Oct. 9*5; $ Sep. 8-4 

Cnipodectes subbrunneus : $ Nov. 27- 2; $°. Nov. 21 •!, 23 -4 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977- 97(2)] 64 

Tolmomyias sulphurescens : <$<$ Feb. 14*2; Sep. 15*9 

Rhynchocyclus olivaceus: $ Jan. 21 • 1 

Todirostrum cinereum: ? Oct. 6-4 

Phylloscartes flavovirens: $ Sep. 8-8 

Capsiempsis flaveola: $ Aug. 8-o 

Elaenia fiavogaster '.* c?c? Oct. 25-4 (breeding); Nov. 23-6; °.°. Jan. 23-0; Sep. 24-8 

Elaenia chiriquensis : (CP) $ Apr. 19*1 (breeding) 

Elaenia frant^ii : (CP) 6V Apr. 19 • 1, 19- 1, 21 • 1 (breeding), 22 ■ o 

Camptostoma obsoletum: <$ Feb. 8 • 2 (breeding) 

Tyrannulus elatus: 6*c? J an - 8-o; May 8-6 

Ornithion brunneicapillum : 6* Feb. 7 • 1 (breeding) ; $ Feb. 7 • 2 (breeding) ; ? Feb. 6 • 9 

Mionectes olivaceus: $ Nov. 14*7 (breeding) 

Pipromorpha oleaginea: <$ Oct. 10 -o 

T achy cine t a albilinea: $ Aug. 13*6 

Neochelidon tibialis: <$ Jan. 9 • 2 ; $ Apr. 9 • 1 

Campy lorhynchus albobrunneus : $$ Jan. 32*7; Apr. 34 • o, 34 • 3 

Thryothorus leucotis: 0* Apr. 20 • 6 

Thryothorus rufalbus: <$<$ Feb. 27 • 7 ; Aug. 27 • 1 

Thryothorus nigricapillus : (AS) $$ Feb. 26-3; Mar. 22-8 

Thryothorus fasciatoventris : $ Apr. 20-7 (breeding) 

Thryothorus rutilus: && Feb. 15-7; Apr. 15*3 (breeding) 

Troglodytes musculus: &$ Apr. 14 • 8 ; Oct. 14 • 7 ; $ Oct. 15-7 

Henicorhina leucosticta: (CC) o* Mar. 16 -i 

Henicorhina leucophrys: (CC) 6* Mar. 18-7; (CJ) 6* Jul. 18-7 

Microcerculus marginatus: $ Nov. 22-2 (breeding) 

Cyporhinus phaeocephalus : (AS) $ Feb. 24-6 

Turdus assimilis: (CC) o* Mar. 66 • 2 ; $ Mar. 77 • 2 

Myadestes melanops: (CP) 6*6* Apr. 30-0, 32-6 (both breeding) 

Polioptila plumbea : $ Feb. 6 • 2 ; (C J) 6" Feb. 6-4 

Ramphocaenus rufriventris : $ Sep. 10-2 

Vireoflavoviridis: ? May 16 -6; (CC) $ Mar. 17-7 

Hylophilus aurantiifrons : <$ Apr. 9*6; $ Feb. 10 -i 

Hylophilus flavipes : $$ Jun. 12-5; Aug. 11-3, 12*5; Sep. 12*7, 13;$$ Aug .1 1 -4, 12 • 1, 

12- 1, 13*2; Sep. 13; Oct. 13*7. 
Diglossa plumbea: (CP) 6* Apr. 9 • 3 ; $ Apr. 9 • 8 

Chlorophanes spi^a: $ Feb. 18-5 (breeding) ; ? Dec. 17-7; (CC) <$ Mar. 19-6 
Cyanerpes cyaneus: <$<$ Jan. 13-0 (breeding), 13-1 (breeding); $$ Jan. 14*7; Feb. 13*7 

(breeding) ; ? Aug. 13-1 
D amis cay ana: $ Jan. 13*1 (breeding), 13-4;$$ Jan. 13-6, 13*7; ? Sep. 14-5 
Dacnis venusta: (CC) 6* Apr. 17 • 1 ; $ Mar. 16-2 (both breeding) 
Mniotilta varia: ? Dec. 10-3 
Protonotaria citrea: ? Oct. 12-4 
Dendroica pensylvanica: <J Mar. 10 • 2 
Dendroica castanea: $ Jan. 11 "4 
Oporornis tolmiei: £$ Sep. 11-5 ; Oct. 10 -6 
Basileuterus delatrii: ?$ Jun. 1 1 • 8 ; Aug. 10 • 1 

Zarhynchus wagleri: (AS) 6M Feb. 213-4, 239-4; $$ Feb. 134-2, 141-3 (all breeding) 
Gymnostinops monte^uma: (AS) o* Apr. 528-5; $ Apr. 241-8 (both breeding) 
Psarocolius decumanus: $$ Jan. 178-3, 191-8 (both breeding) 
Cacicus cela: 6* Oct. 94-9 
Cacicus uropygialis: &$ Jan. 62-5, 71-7; Sep. 71-6; Dec. 71-4; $°. Jan. 53-6, 54*2; 

May 50-0; Dec. 54-5, 57-6 
Molothrus aeneus: $ May 54-0 
Cassidix mexicanus: $ Aug. 112-0 
Icterus auricapillus : <£ Mar. 33-5 
Icterus chrysater: <$<$ Apr. 50-1; Sep. 57-7 
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus : (AS) $ Nov. 65-5 
Sturnella magna: <J Jan. 97 • 5 
Euphonia anneae: (CC) $ Apr. 15-0; ? Mar. 15-4 
Euphonia fulvicrissa : $ Apr. 10 -i 

Euphonia minuta: <Jo* Feb. 9-4 (breeding), 10 -6; Oct. 9-9, 11-5; $ Feb. 11-2 
Euphonia luteicapilla: $ Sep. 13-2 
Euphonia laniirostris: $$ Feb. 15-2 (imm.); Apr. 14-2, 14-2, 15-3; ?°. Feb. 16-5, 

Apr. 16-0; Oct. 14-5 

65 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 

Euphonia gouldi : (BT) <$ Apr. 10 '9 
Tangara icterocephala: (CC) 0*6* Mar. 22-0, 22-9, 24 • 7 ; $$ Mar. 22-4, 22 • 6 ; (CC) $ Apr. 

Tangara larvata: o* Feb. 17*7; $? Feb. 17-1, 18 • 5 ; Apr. 17- 1 ; (BT) $ Apr. 23 -9 
Tangara inornata: $& Jan. 17-4; Feb. 1 8 • 8, 19 • 1 ; $$ Apr. 1 8 • 1 ; Sep. 18-5 
Tangara gyrola: (CC) ^ Mar. 23-8, 23-8, 24-4 (breeding) ; $$ Mar. 24-1, 25-2 
Thraupis episcopus: $<£ Mar. 32-0; Oct. 31-5 
Thraupis palm arum: 6* Oct. 38*5 

Ramphocelus dimidiatus: <J<$ Sep. 27 • 3 , 34-0; Oct. 29 • 2 ; $$ Sep. 29 • 1 ; Oct. 25-4, 31-8 
Ramphocelus icteronotus: <$ Apr. 30 • o ; $$> Apr. ji • 1, 31-8 (all breeding) 
Piranga rubra: 6* Jan. 28-9 
Pirangaflava: (CC) <$ Mar. 36-7 
Habia fuscicauda : <$<$ Feb. 39-9 (imm.); May 39-7; Jun. 40-1 ; Aug. 38-o;99Feb. 34-2; 

Sep. 36-4; (AS) 0* Feb. 42-0 
Tachyphonus rufus: <$ Aug. 30 • 9 ; $ Sep. 27 • 5 
Tachyphonus luctuosus: <$<$ Feb. 15-0; May 13-3;$ Mar. 13-8 
Eucometis penicillata: °. Mar. 29 • 5 
Rhodinocichla rosea: £ Feb. 51-8 
Chrysothlypis chrysomelas: (CC) <$ Apr. 12-5 
S altator maximus: $ Aug. 46 • 9 
Saltator albicollis: $& Apr. 37-6; Sep. 39; Oct. 42-0, 43-9;?$ Apr. 28-6 (imm.), 40-6 

(breeding); Oct. 40-7; ? 35-3 
Pitylus grossus: <$ Sep. 43 • 5 ; $ May 50*4 (breeding) 
Pheucticus ludovicianus: $ Jan. 47* 3 
Cyanocompsa cyanoides: 3 Feb. 3 1 • 1 ; $ Oct. 31-4 
Tiaris olivacea: £ Oct. 9-3; (CJ) cJ Jul. 10-3 

Sporophila aurita: ££ Jun. 10 • o ; Oct. 10 • o (imm.), 1 1 • 6 ; 9 Oct. 10 • 8 ; (BT) $ Apr. 11-9 
Sporophila nigricollis: <J Jun. 9-9 
Sporophila minuta: $ Jun. 8 • 3 

Ory^pborus funereus : 9 Jun. 13*4; (BT) ^ Apr. 12-8; (CJ) <$ Sep. 13*9 
Arremon aurantiirostris: JcJ Jan. 33-7; May 33*4 
Arremonops conirostris: <$<$ Jun. 39-5 (imm.); Sep. 37-6; 9 Apr. 38-8 

Acknowledgements : This work was done while the author was a Visiting Research Associ- 
ate and Presidential Intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. 

References : 

Burton, P. J. K. 1973. Non-passerine bird weights from Panama and Colombia. Bull. Brit. 
Orn. CI. 93: 1 1 6-1 18. 

— 1975' Passerine bird weights from Panama and Colombia, with some notes on "soft- 
part" colours. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95 : 82-86. 

Ridgely, R. S. 1976. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Princetown, New Jersey: Princeton 
University Press. 

Address: Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, U.S.A. 

An undcscribed subspecies of the Red-legged 

Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus 

by Kenneth C. Parkes 

Received 10 March 1977 
The Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus is a widely distributed 
member of the "honeycreeper" group of tanagers (Embeiizidae : Thraupinae) 
formerly placed in the composite "family Coerebidae" (Storer 1969). The 
species ranges from southern Mexico south to Bolivia and southeastern 
Brazil, and is highly polytypic. For the South American populations, the 
standard revisionary treatment was for many years that of Zimmer (1942), 
which, although correct in general outline, had the disadvantage of having 
been based only upon material available to the author at the American 
Museum of Natural History. The most recent treatment of the species is 
that of Storer (1970), who made available to me before publication his 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 66 

manuscript of the subfamily Thraupinae for the "Peters" Check-list, to which 
I added distributional information taken from the collections of Carnegie 
Museum of Natural History. In the case of Cyanerpes cyaneus (and some other 
tanagers), I also did some revisionary studies, and these, as indicated by 
Storer' s footnotes and parenthetical remarks, were incorporated into his 
Check-list treatment. The present paper will serve to document some of the 
changes made by Storer from Zimmer's arrangement, at my suggestion. 

Other than some adjustment in the ranges of subspecies, the principal 
differences between Zimmer's and Storer's treatment of Cyanerpes cyaneus are 
the recognition by Storer of C. c. brevipes (Cabanis) for the populations of 
the lower and middle Amazon, and acknowledgement of the existence in the 
southeastern portion of the species' range of an undescribed race (Storer 
1970: 396), of which at that time I had not seen sufficient material to be able 
to define accurately its characters and range, since it was represented by only 
a few specimens in the collections of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 
(CM) and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Subsequent 
examination of key specimens from the U.S. National Museum of Natural 
History (USNM) has verified the existence of this race, which is now be- 
latedly described as new. A few preliminary remarks will explain some of the 
changes made from Zimmer's concept of the races of Cyanerpes cyaneus. 

Zimmer's race violaceus, described from Matto Grosso, Brazil, is a good 
subspecies. Without having seen Bolivian specimens, Zimmer stated, 
however, that "it is probable that the specimens recorded from Guarayos, 
eastern Bolivia [see Hellmayr 1935: 253-254], belong to violaceus". This is 
confirmed by a series (CM) from the Rio Surutu, Dept. of Santa Cruz 
(southwest of Guarayos), Bolivia (for coordinates, see Paynter et al. 1975). 
The range of violaceus extends even farther north and west, as indicated by a 
single male (CM) of this race from Hyutanahan, upper Rio Purus, Brazil (an 
area whose avifauna shows a number of Bolivian affinities). A moulting male 
(AMNH) from Borba, on the Rio Madeira, Brazil, approaches this race 
closely. Zimmer's colour comparisons of violaceus with nominate cyaneus are 
somewhat inaccurate as well as incomplete. He stated that females of violaceus 
"differ in color from those of cyaneus principally by duller yellowish inner 
margins of the remiges". In point of fact, the few female skins available do 
not show any clearcut difference in the yellow of the underwing. Geographic 
variation in colour of females will be discussed in more detail later. A charac- 
ter of males, mentioned in Zimmer's description of the type of violaceus but 
not in his diagnosis, is that the pale turquoise blue of the cap is separated 
from the black of the back by a distinct dark purplish band (the colour of the 
underparts), whereas in cyaneus males the cap colour blends posteriorly, and 
is still pale when the back is reached. 

Specimens from the lower and middle Amazon, from the middle Tocantins 
west at least to Manacapuru, are like cyaneus in colour but have tiny bills 
(from nostril, 11-12-5 rnm., mean 11 -8 versus 13-16 mm., mean 14-4 in 
cyaneus). These should be C. c. brevipes (Cabanis), which was thought er- 
roneously by the describer to have come from Porto Cabello, Venezuela, the 
source also of the type of his long-billed race eximia. Gyldenstolpe (1945) 
substituted "Para" as the type locality of brevipes, but this was an unhappy 
choice as specimens from the vicinity of the city of Para (now Belem) are not 
the small-billed bird, but are intergrades between Guianian cyaneus and the 
eastern Brazilian race to be described below. At my suggestion, Storer (1970) 

67 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(2)] 

interpreted Gyldenstolpes "Para" as meaning the state of Para, and further 
restricted the type locality of bre'ipes to Santarem, a locality inhabited by the 
small-billed bird. That this fulfills Gyldenstolpe's intent is indicated by the 
latter author having called his specimens from the Rio Tapajoz (at the mouth 
of which lies Santerem) "brevipes." Zimmer rejected brevipes on the basis of 
"too much overlap" of bill measurements, but it is apparent that he did not 
understand the geographic pattern shown by the variation in bill size. 

Gyldenstolpe (1945) called his specimens from the Rio Jurua, in western- 
most Amazonas, Brazil, "brevipes", but the bill measurements cited and the 
colour description indicate that these birds are better referred to the north- 
western race dispar Zimmer, and this treatment was adopted by Storer. 

We turn now to the southeastern race, which may be called 

Cyanerpes cyaneus holti subsp. nov. 

Type: Carnegie Museum of Natural History no. 137834, adult <J, collected 
at Pau Gigante ^now Ibiracu), Espirito Santo, Brazil (i9°5o'S, 4o°2 2'W), 
21 October 1940, by E. G. and M. L. Holt. 

Characters: Adult males similar to violaceus Zimmer in having the turquoise 
crown patch restricted, especially posteriorly (thus differing from the 
adjacent races cyaneus and brevipes'), but bill long as in cyaneus. Underparts and 
lower dorsum darker and more intensely coloured than cyaneus and brevipes, 
but not as purplish as violaceus. Yellow of inner webs of remiges of both sexes 
deeper and more sharply defined than in any of the three other races under 

Range: Eastern Brazil from Pernambuco to Espirito Santo; Rio de Janeiro 
records (Hellmayr 1935) undoubtedly belong here. Occurs inland at least as 
far as Formosa, southeastern Goias. Intergrades with cyaneus in easternmost 
Para (Benevides, 32 km east of Belem) and Maranhao (Miritiba). Intergrades 
with brevipes in northernmost Goias (Araguatins) and at Villa Braga, c. 256 
km upstream (southwest) from Santarem on the Rio Tapajos. 

Measurements: Among the four eastern South American races under 
consideration here, I found no significant differences in flattened wing length 
except that violaceus averages somewhat longer (means of adult $<$ as follows : 
cyaneus 63-6, brevipes 62-7, holti 63-4, violaceus 65-9 mm). This accords well 
with wing measurements given by Zimmer. Measurements of bill from 
anterior edge of nostril are as follows: cyaneus 13-16 (14-4); brevipes 11-12- 5 
(1 1 • 8) ; violaceus 11-5-13 (12-2); holti 12-5-14-5 mm (1 3 • o). The bills of holti 
in addition to averaging longer than those of violaceus, are visibly more 
slender, especially at the base. As Zimmer has pointed out, bill length and 
wing length do not vary concordantly in this species: a better separation 
between violaceus and holti is shown by the bill/ wing ratio. This ranges from 
• 187 to • 195 (-189) in violaceus, and • 192 to • 228 (-205) in holti. 

Etymology: This subspecies is named to honour the collector, Ernest G. 
Holt, a gifted and versatile ornithologist all too little known to younger 

Specimens examined: All of the AMNH material listed by Zimmer (1942) 
was seen. All pertinent material in USNM was examined, but only those 
specimens that were taken to Pittsburgh for direct comparisons are listed 
here, namely those of holti and its intergrades. cyaneus - French guiana: 
Pied Saut 1 8 ; Cayenne 9 ; Mana 1 . Surinam : Powakka 1 . brevipes - brazil : 
Manacapuru, Amazonas 7 ; Caviana, Amazonas 2 ; Santarem, Para 9 ; Obidos, 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 68 

Para 3. holti - brazil: Pau Gigante (=Ibiracu), Espirito Santo 5 (USNM 4, 
CM 1); Formosa, Goias 1 (USNM); Recife, Pernambuco 1 (USNM). 
Cyaneus X holti - brazil : Benevides, Para 7 (CM) ; Para (=Belem), Para 2 
(USNM). brevipes x holti - brazil: Villa Braga, Para 2 (CM); Araguatins, 
Goias 1 (USNM). violaceus - Bolivia: Rio Surutu, Santa Cruz 7; brazil: 
Hyutanahan, Amazonas 1. 

Remarks on females: Colour differences among females of this species are 
difficult to assess, as wear tends to alter their colours far more than those of 
males. In general, cyaneus appears to be the darkest green dorsally of the races 
under consideration here, and brevipes the yellowest green, with violaceus and 
holti intermediate. A single female from Benevides, from the population 
identified in males as cyaneus X holti, would not be surely separable from 
cyaneus, although not as dark dorsally as most examples of that race. Some 
colour tendencies can be noted in the underparts. The broadest and most 
conspicuous white shaft streaks are found in brevipes, which also tends to be 
washed with yellow, most conspicuously on the under tail coverts. In 
violaceus and holti the throat is nearly solid white rather than streaked white 
and green as in cyaneus and brevipes. The white shaft streaks of the underparts 
in violaceus and holti scarcely extend posterior to the upper breast, whereas 
in cyaneus and brevipes they continue to the upper abdomen. The one female 
from Villa Braga is too dark for brevipes dorsally, and too long-billed for that 
race, but resembles brevipes ventrally, thus, like the male, appearing inter- 
mediate between brevipes and holti. 

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to the authorities of the American Museum of Natural 
History and the U.S. National Museum of Natural History for permission to utilize their 
specimens in this study. Dr. Paul Slud of the latter institution was kind enough to verify 
for me the location of Pau Gigante, Brazil. 
References : 
Gyldenstolpe, N. 1945. The bird fauna of Rio Jurua in western Brazil. Kungl. Svenska Vet.- 

Akad. HandL, ser. 3, 22 (3): 1-338. 
Hellmayr, C. E. 1935. Catalogue of birds of the Americas . . . [etc.], part 8. Field Mus. Nat. 

Hist. Zool. Ser. 13 (8): 1-5 41. 
Paynter, R. A., Jr., Traylor, M. A., Jr. & Winter, B. 197 5. Ornithological Gazetteer of Bolivia. 

Cambridge : Museum of Comparative Zoology. 
Storer, R. W. 1969. What is a tanager? Living Bird 8 : 127-136. 
— 1970. Thraupinae, in Check-list of Birds of the World, vol. 13, ed. by R. A. Paynter, Jr. 

Cambridge, Museum of Comparative Zoology. 
Zimmer, J. T. 1942. Studies of Peruvian birds. No. XLIV. Notes on the genera Diglossa 

and Cyanerpes, with addenda to Ochthoeca. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1203: 1-15. 
Address: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15 21 3, USA. 

Faunistic notes and further additions to the 
Sumatran avifauna 

by D. A. Holmes 

Received 14 March 1977 
These notes add some further species to the Sumatran avifauna and confirm 
other species whose presence in Sumatra has been in doubt. Most of the 
following records are from Lampung, the southernmost province of Sumatra 
(5 S, 105 ° E), with a few from Jambi province (2 S, 103 E). 
Ardeola speciosa 

Pond Herons were seen at several localities in Lampung in 1976 at each 
season, and the breeding plumage in early May (buff neck, black back and 

6c; [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 

cinnamon breast) confirmed the specific identification. The Javan Pond 
Heron has a discontinuous distribution, for example occurring in Thailand, 
Java and Borneo (Salomonsen 1929) but not in West Malaysia and hitherto 
not reliably in Sumatra (Chasen 1935). 

Ciconia spp. are seen quite commonly in the Sumatran plains, either singly 
or up to 7 birds together. My own records range from the Barumon river 
in the north (2 N, ioo° E), the Batang Hari river near Muara Tembesi in 
Jambi, and from several localities in Lampung. Birds examined at fairly close 
range in January 1976 in Jambi, and in November 1976 at Menggala in 
Lampung, all had grey or dark grey facial skin and bill, the bill tipped with a 
dark reddish tinge, black cap, and wholly white throat and neck sharply 
demarcated from the black breast, identifying them as White-necked Storks 
Ciconia episcopus. The habitat of open swamp, flooded grazing land, riceland, 
grassland and dryland crops is also typical of episcopus. 

Chasen (1935) included Sumatra within the range of C. episcopus but this 
has been questioned by White (1974) in view of the lack of positive records. 
It would be expected that these storks belonged to the race neglecta, of Java 
and Wallacea, but field observations of the bill colour suggest that they are 
nominate episcopus, presently known south only to penisular Thailand. This 
point requires checking. 
Ciconia stormi 

White (1974) notes that museum specimens exist of Storm's Storks 
Ciconia stormi from Sumatra. In November 1975 in Jambi I watched two 
storks, soaring over forest, which appeared from below, and against the 
light, to be all black except for the white under tail coverts and tail, and some 
white about the face. I could see no white neck as such, and there appeared 
to be some yellow or red about the face and bill. In October 1976 in Lampung 
I flushed a solitary stork from a puddle on a narrow enclosed track in dense 
logged primary forest, near the lower reaches of the Seputih river. The 
plumage of the Jambi birds identifies stormi, and the habitat of the Lampung 
bird is typical for stormi but would be most unusual for episcopus. 

Thus stormi and episcopus occur together in Sumatra and stormi is not 
exclusively interposing between two distinct populations of episcopus, as 
White has suggested. 
Cairina scutulata 

The White-winged Wood Duck, whose presence in Sumatra has recently 
been reconfirmed (Holmes 1976), appears to be quite widely distributed in 
suitable habitat in Lampung province (see Holmes, in press). 
Macheiramphus alcinus — Lonchura punctulata nesting association 

On 24 June 1976 near Ketibung in southern Lampung, a Bat Hawk was 
seen to alight on its nest, where it was soon joined by its partner and mating 
took place. The nest was a bulky affair of sticks and twigs constructed on a 
main branch high in an isolated forest tiee left standing in recently cleared 
lowland terrain. A pair of Spotted Munias Lonchura punctulata were present 
and had constructed their nest of dead grasses, etc. in the base of the hawk's 

Metopidius indicus 

Sumatra is included within the range of the Bronze-winged Jacana by 
Chasen (1935), apparently on the basis of one specimen labelled Sumatra 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 70 

from the Wallace Collection in the British Museum (cat. Birds BM XXIV : 
76). The label gives the date as 1862 but no details of locality can be traced. 
Medway & Wells (1976) omitted the island from its known range. 

On 21 November 1976 this jacana was common at a swamp at Bujung 
Tenuk near Menggala in North Lampung. The following January none was 
present there, but they were common at another swamp nearby, where birds 
were in pairs and courtship was observed. 


Three Black-winged Stilts were feeding on the muddy foreshore at Labu- 
han Maringgai on Lampung's east coast on 18 January 1977. One adult bird 
had a pronounced black stripe on the back of the neck extending into a half 
collar, identifying it as the Austialian subspecies leucocephalus, which is 
known to extend west into Java and southern Borneo. Chasen (193 5 : 35) 
states that "we do not admit the locality 'Sumatra' for this form", but no 
reason is given. 
Chlidonias leucopterus 

Chasen (1935) confines the distribution of the White- winged Black Tern 
in Sumatra to the Straits of Malacca. On 19 April 1976 this tern was common 
at the top of Lampung Bay (mostly in full breeding plumage). Marsh terns, 
assumed to be this species, were also present at a small lake inland near 
Rumbia on 6 October, and others in Lampung Bay in late December. These 
records confirm that the species migrates through and overwinters in Sumatra 
Ptilinopus melanospila 

A pair of Black-naped Fruit Doves was seen on 19 April 1976 on Pulau 
Tegel, a small island in Lampung Bay 13 km due south of Tanjung Karang. 
The island is mostly forested but the doves were seen in a line of bushes 
separating a plot of grassland from the beach. 

The species ranges from Java eastwards and has not previously been 
recorded in Sumatra. Hoogerwerf (1969) comments that the dove was more 
commonly recorded in the Ujong Kulon reserve of West Java after the 
Second World War than before, suggesting that a small extension of popu- 
lation has occurred. I did not find the dove elsewhere in Lampung and pos- 
sibly it is confirmed in Sumatra to some forested islands and the coastal strip 
close to Java. 
Tyto alba 

Barn Owls were heard at night in Tanjung Karang on 21 May 1976, and at 
Lake Jepara in the east of Lampung on 1 July. Confirmation came when a 
live bird was brought to me on 1 8 October, having been freshly caught on a 
hill close to Tanjung Karang. 

This specimen is now in the Zoological Museum at Bogor, where it was 
kindly prepared and examined by Dr. S. Somadikarta. The 26 specimens of 
T. a.javanica in that collection, all from Java, show considerable variation in 
colour, but the present bird, an adult male, is very slightly darker on the 
upperparts. The measurements agree with those oijavankus, and are larger 
than two specimens of sumbaensis from Sumba in the same collection, and one 
specimen of deroepstorffi from the Southern Andaman Islands (Hume 1875). 

Chasen (1935) records that this owl is "of very doubtful occurrence in 
Sumatra and Borneo"; however in view of its striking increase in West 
Malaysia (D. R. Wells) and probably also in peninsular Thailand (Holmes 

7 i [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)1 

& Wells 1975), it seems likely that the Barn Owl is already widespread in the 
open plains of Sumatra. 
Apus pacificus 

The Pacific Swift is a passage migrant through southern Sumatra, at least 
on the southward migration. On 5 October, several were seen near Jambi in 
1975 and in Lampung in 1976, with further records during both these 
months. Stragglers may overwinter as a few were seen in Lampung in mid- 
January. Mees (1973) was unable to find any records of this swift in Sumatra, 
although it appeared on ?11 the Sumatran lists; but he commented that "A. 
pacificus is bound to be found in Sumatra sooner or later". 
Alcedo caerulescens 

The Small Blue Kingfisher was first recorded for Sumatra on 25 April 1976 
when it was found to be common at a coralline beach backed by a narrow 
mangrove swamp on the west side of Lampung Bay. Subsequently birds were 
seen elsewhere in the bay on both sandy and muddy beaches. It is not 
confined to this bay, for on 19 January one was seen 3 km inland in the open 
swamps of the Penet river near Jepara, on the east coast. It is likely that this 
kingfisher is now quite widespread around the coast of Sumatra. 

Most of the species discussed here have affinities with the fauna of the 
neighbouring island of Java. It is reasonable to assume that A. speciosa, 
M. indicus and H. himantopus are either indigenous in southern Sumatra or at 
least of regular occurrence there. Tyto alba, together with Cisticola exilis 
(Harvey & Holmes 1976), may have spread into Sumatra more recently, 
perhaps coinciding with widespread de-afforestation. Unfortunately I was 
unable to confirm records of four other species of Javanese affinity in Lam- 
pung, namely the Grey Teal Anas gibberifrons (near Jepara in June and 
January), a small cormorant, either Pbalacrocorax niger or P. sulcirostris (three 
near Jepara in January), the Indian Hanging Lorikeet Loriculus vernalis 
(coastal coconut groves in the southeastern corner of Lampung Bay in April) 
and perhaps also the Scailet-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaem trochileum. 

I am most grateful to Dr. G. F. Mees, Dr. S. Somadikarta and Dr. D. R. Wells for their 
assistance in assembling the evidence for this paper, to C. M. N. White for his comments 
on a first draft concerning Ciconia sp. and to R. F. Ollington for sending me his own records 
of water birds in Sumatra. 

References : 

Chasen, F. N. 1935. A handlist of Malaysian birds. Bull. Raffles Mus. n. 
Harvey, W. G. & Holmes, D. A. 1976. Additions to the avifaunas of Sumatra and Kali- 
mantan, Indonesia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 90-92. 
Holmes, D. A. 1976. A record of White-winged Wood Duck Cairina scutulata in Sumatra. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 88-89. 
— In press. A report on Cairina scutulata in Lampung province, Sumatra. Wildfowl. 
Holmes, D. A. & Wells, D. R. 1975. Further observations on the birds of South Thailand. 

Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 26: 61-78. 
Hoogerwerf, A. 1969. On the ornithology of the Rhino Sanctuary Udjung Kulon in West 

Java (Indonesia). Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 23: 26. 
Hume, A. O. (Ed.) 1875. Stray Feathers 3 : 390-391. 
Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 5. London, 

Witherby ; Kuala Lumpur, University of Malaya Press. 
Mees, G. F. 1973. The status of two species of migrant swift in Java and Sumatra (Aves, 

Apodidae). Zool. Meded. 46: 197-207. 
Salomonsen, M. F. 1929. Quelques observations sur le genre Ardeola (Ardeides). Bull. Mus. 

Natn. Hist. Nat. Paris. Second Series. 1 : 347-357. 
White, C. M. N. 1974. Three water birds of Wallacea. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 9-1 1. 

Address: The Old Rectory, Sudborough, Kettering, Northants, UK. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(2)] 72 


Co-operation invited on the protection of the Bald Ibis 

Geronticus eremita 

Current distribution of the Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita is now limited to only- 
two widely remote areas. 

The only known breeding site of the Eastern population is located in 
Birecik on the Euphrates river in southeast Turkey. Disturbances to the 
breeding sites and the extensive use of insecticides have led to a reduction of 
this population from 1000 to only 39 birds in the last 25 years. Bald Ibis have 
been observed in Syria (where there were breeding sites until about 1920), 
Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Somali 
Republic. It is possible that breeding sites exist on the Saudi Arabian Red 
Sea coast, in Yemen, and in the border area between Ethiopia and Sudan. 

The Western population has a number of breeding sites in Morocco : I 
estimated there were 200-250 breeding pairs in 1975. Poaching and the 
cultivation of previously semi-arid feeding sites, as well as disturbance by 
tourists, have further decimated the remaining number of birds. In some 
colonies this has adversely affected the age composition of breeding pairs 
which, in many cases, are now so old that it must be feared that these colonies 
will not survive. 

In order to plan and implement a World Wildlife Fund project for the 
protection of the last-surviving Bald Ibis, I am collecting all available infor- 
mation, including that of earlier years. Naturally, the assistance of ornitholo- 
gists and bird observers will be invaluable to me, and they are therefore 
kindly requested to send me any observations of the Bald Ibis they may have. 
The locations of breeding sites will not be passed on by me or published in 
any way. If requested, any other information will also be treated confidentially 
and will not be released for publication. 

Please write to: Mr. Udo Hirsch, Theodor-Brauer-Str. 35, 5000 Cologne 
80, W. Germany, or at World Wildlife Fund, Conservation Department, 
CH-iiio Morges, Switzerland. IO March 1077 


Gooders, J. 1977. Where to Watch Birds. Pp. 1-343. Maps. Pan Books Ltd., London £1 • 50. 

Paperback of this well-known and useful book, first published in 1967, on bird watching 

areas in the counties of Britain. 
Gooders, J. 1977. How to Watch Birds. Pp. 1-1 5 5 . Illustrated. Pan Books Ltd., London. 95P. 

Paperback of the companion volume to Where to Watch Birds, first published in 1975 as 

an elementary introduction to a serious approach to bird- watching. 
Owen, M. 1977. Wildfowl of Europe. Pp. 1-256. 54 colour plates by Hilary Burn. 49 maps, 

many line drawings, diagrams. Macmillan: London. £15 (£12 until 31.xii.77). 

A very successful compromise between the decorative and the plain scientific volume — 
tastefully and accurately illustrated in colour and black and white, with an authoritative text 
covering evolution, population make-up, migration, behaviour, ecology, etc., with a 
comprehensive, yet pleasantly discursive and commendably succinct, account of each of the 
5 5 species of swans, geese and duck of Europe, and clear informative maps of distribution. 
Serle, W., Morel, G. J. & Hartwig, W. 1977. A Field Guide to the Birds of West Africa. 

Pp. 1-3 5 1. 515 species illustrated, 335 in colour, end paper maps, hard water-resistant 

binding. Collins: London. £5*95. 

This long-awaited and invaluable illustrated field guide by two recognised authorities 
covers the vast area of southern Mauritania — Chad, Senegal — Nigeria, Cameroons, Central 
African Republic, Gaboon and the Congo. Of the 1097 species recorded therein, 726 are the main text, the remainder treated more briefly as "allied species" or men- 
tioned in the comprehensive checklist. The main systematic list includes identification, 
voice, distribution and habitat, and nesting (no breeding dates) of each species. 


Papers, whether by Club Members or by non-members, should be sent to the 
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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road Sevenoaks Kent. 

ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 97 No. 3 

September 1 977 


Tuesday, ij November 1977 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m., at the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance on the 
south side of Prince's Gardens, S.W.7, on the east side of Exhibition Road). 
Mrs. Stephanie Tyler, ph.d., on the avifauna of Ethiopia and describing 
especially observations in Tigre and Eritrea. Those wishing to attend should 
send a cheque for £3 • 90 a person to the Hon. Secretary with their accept- 
ance on the enclosed slip to arrive not later than the first post on Thurs- 
day 10 November. 

Tuesday, 17 January 1978 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. Dr. J. G. Harrison on 
"Indian Interlude". 


P. Hogg {Chairman) Dr. G. Beven {Vice-Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) M. St.J. Sugg {Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk {Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

C. E. Wheeler B. Gray 
V. F. Mann 

73 [8% 


[B u l!.B.O.C.i 977 :<) 1 ( i )\ 

Bulletin of the 


Vol. 97 No. 3 Published: 20 September 1977 

The seven hundred and seventh Meeting of the Club was held at The Goat 
Tavern, 3 Stafford Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday, 19 July 1977 at 7 p.m. 

Chairman: Mr. P. Hogg; present 22 members and 6 guests. 

Mr. Stanley Cramp, o.b.e., spoke on the Handbook of the Birds of Europe, 
the Middle East and North Africa {The Birds of the Western Palaearctic). He 
described the editorial organization and explained the nature of the material 
being included, together with the layout. He displayed specimen pages and 
some original drawings of birds of prey for Volume II. There was an 
interesting discussion and Mr. Cramp invited further comments by 
members after the publication shortly of Volume I. 

The voice of the courser Rhinoptilus cinctus 

by R. J. Dow sett, Francois e Lemaire & R. Stjernstedt 

Received 1 j February ipyj 

Descriptions of the voice of the Three-banded (or Heuglin's) Courser 
Rhinoptilus cinctus have been published by Dowsett (1969) and Vernon 
(1972). Dowsett described what was apparently the alarm call of disturbed 
birds, and Vernon a nocturnal social call, presumably the song. Both vocali- 
sations are basically a "wicky-wicky-wicky-wick", the song continuing for 
much longer than the alarm and accelerating before dying away. Both types 
of vocalisation have been heard frequently at night in Zambia by Dowsett, 
and by Stjernstedt, who has tape recorded them. 

Dowsett's (1969) note was prompted by Benson & Irwin (1967), who cast 
doubt upon earlier published descriptions of the voice of the Three-banded 
Courser. Benson's misgivings arose from an unpublished tape recording by 
the late Myles North, made at Maungu in southeastern Kenya, and suspected 
by North to be of a call of the Nubian Nightjar Capri mulgus nubicus. It is not 
clear what evidence North had to support his supposition, and to Benson's 
ears the tape presented vocalisations very similar to those he had previously 
attributed to the courser while in Ethiopia; but Benson assumed he must have 
been in error. Veinon (1972) has now established the basic repertoire of R. 
cinctus, and it is clear that the vocalisations Benson heard in Ethiopia were 
indeed those of this courser. However, the identity of the bird on North's 
tape has remained in question. 

Through the kind assistance of Stuart Keith, we have been able to examine 
a copy of North's tape, which North edited in 1963, but never published. It 
contains the songs of nine African breeding nightjars and the European 
C. europaeus. On this tape North divides the Caprimulgus songs into two 
types, the "whistling" and the "chuiring", though the "Nubian Nightjar" 
recordings do not fit into either of these categories : if they were indeed 
produced by a nightjar, then they are clearly anomalous, since all Caprimulgus 
songs described to date consist of an unvarying repetition of a note or phrase. 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(3)] 






p* p- r* p* r* r* 

1 Sec 

^ *m » *m /,, <m fr. ( * fu /( *,. „ -, * * ^ '* * ' * 1 "<••••.••,»,»' i 

7 Sec 


V T T W T T Tf f !f V V V 

< i • « «« 

Figure 1 . The voice of the courser Rhinoptilus cinctus. Sonograms of the [social call of 
Rhinoptilus cinctus: (a) & (c) Lochinvar National Park, southern Zambia ' (Stjernstedt) ; 
(b) & (d) Maungu, southeastern Kenya (North), (a) & (b) are calls, (c) & (d) songs. 

\ \ \\\\\\ HU\U H lnnnn " in ' ' \ \\ \\\\\\ 

1 sec 


*s*^^f*A++++ + 

1 Sec 

Figure 2. Sonograms of the two basic types of nightjar song: (a) churring, Mozambique 
Nightjar Caprimulgus fossil, Kalomo, southern Zambia (Stjernstedt); (b) whistling, Fiery- 
necked Nightjar C. pectoralis, Kruger Park, South Africa (Haagner 1961). 

75 [Bull.B.O.C. 1977:91b)] 

To our ears the vocalisations of North's bird are identical to those we 
know to be made by the Three-banded Courser. Lemaire has produced 
sonograms from the North tape and from a tape of undoubted Three- 
banded Courser made by Stjernstedt in southern Zambia. Representative 
extracts are presented in Figure 1. Both samples present similar repeated 
"kui" calls at the same pitch, with only a difference in delivery, which might 
be caused by different intensities of motivation. The songs are of the same 
length, and show the same pattern of rhythm, i.e. an accelerated repetition of 
one note, rising then decreasing in volume and decreasing in pitch. The two 
vocalisations are so clearly identical that it is difficult to believe they are not 
made by closely related, if not identical, species. 

Lemaire has produced sonograms from tapes by Stjernstedt and by 
Haagner of two other nightjar songs (Fig. 2), which can be compared with 
the vocalisations attributed to the Nubian Nightjar by North; clearly there 
is no resemblance. Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952: 671) describe the song 
of the Nubian Nightjar as "a liquid 'chukku-chukku-chukku' ", as described 
by Butler (1909: 400), who in fact placed an exclamation mark after each 
"chukku". He found the nightjar near the Red Sea coast, and saw or heard it 
eveiy evening. It was the only nightjar he found there, and he collected a 
single male to confirm his identification. Although we know of no authentic 
tape of the Nubian Nightjar's song, there seems to be no reason to doubt 
Butler's version. It appears to be a churring song and quite unlike the North 

In short, we have no doubt that North's recording is of a Three-banded 
Courser, since the sonograms agree closely and the species is known to 
occur in southeastern Kenya where North made his recording. 

Benson & Irwin (1967) emphasised the need for extra care in the identi- 
fication of calling nocturnal birds. Many species of nightjar are very difficult 
to identify with certainty by sight at night. Moreover, several different 
species may congregate in an area, and so it is essential that the singing 
individual be identified and no other. Nightjars can often be induced to 
come close by playing back a tape, and it might then be possible to see clearly, 
capture or shoot the unidentified bird. These precautions are frequently even 
required to authenticate tape recordings of diurnal species, and it is un- 
fortunate that there are a number of serious errors of identification on several 
commercially available records and tapes of African birds. 

We are grateful to Professor J. C. Ruwet and the Laboratoire d'Ethologie et de Psycholo- 
gic animale, University of Liege for facilities to produce sonograms. Mr. G. Stuart Keith 
kindly made available a copy of North's tape, and Mr. C. W. Benson has read this paper. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1967. A contribution to the ornithology of Zambia. 

Zambia Museum Papers: 30-31. 
Butler, A. L. 1909. Contributions to the Ornithology of the Sudan — No. IV. On birds 

observed on the Red Sea coast in May 1908. Ibis 9 ser. (3): 389-406. 
Dowsett, R. J. 1969. The call of the Three-banded Courser Rhinoptilus cinctus. Puku 5 : 222. 
Haagner, C. H. 1961. Birds of 'the Kruger Park. XTR 1 7044. International Library of African 

Music, Roodepoort, Transvaal, South Africa. Commercial recording. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. Birds of Eastern and North-eastern Africa. 

African Handbook of birds. Series I, Vol. I. London: Longmans. 
Vernon, C. J. 1972. The call of the Three-banded Courser. Ostrich 43 : 68. 

Address: Livingstone Museum, P.O. Box 498, Livingstone, Zambia 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)1 76 

The occurrence of the Crimson Fruitcrow 
Haematoderus militaris in Surinam 

by F. Haverschmidt 

Received 24 March 197J 

According to the most recent classification, the family Cotingidae consists of 
79 species. Because of the paucity or even the lack of recent records from 
their limited range, six may be in danger of extinction (Snow 1976). One of 
the latter is the Crimson Fmitcrow Haematoderus militaris. It is about the size 
of a Jackdaw Corpus monedula, and the male is almost entirely deep crimson. 
According to Snow (1976), it is known from a small number of places in the 
State of Para in northern Brazil, and was recorded in the nineteenth 
century and early this century in the Guianas. There are no recent records 
from Guyana (Snyder 1966). However, it still occurs in neighbouring 
Surinam (Haverschmidt 1968) where I saw it five times between 1946 and 
1968 : — 10 August 1967, a £ in savanna foiest a few miles west of Albina on 
the west bank of the Maroni River; 24 August 1961, a ^ in high forest near 
Phedra on the west bank of the Surinam River, where I also saw 2 birds in 
high forest on 26 April 1964; 20 January 1962 a $ in high forest near Rama 
(about 10 miles south of Phedra); 4 November 1961 a £ in savanna forest 
a few miles north of Kraka in the region of the Surinam River. In this same 
area Miss Dr. F. Feekes, who studied for some years the behaviour of 
Oropendolas and Caciques in Surinam, saw a male in savanna forest near 
Powakka on 19 December 1973. Mr. T. H. Davis observed a bkd on 4 April 
1970 in the region of the Surinam River along the Brokopondo road about 
100 m east of the Afobakka Highway, and again on 5 April 1973 another 
along the Afobakka Highway c. 8 km north of the Brokopondo turning 
(pers. comm.). 

All the birds I saw were sitting on the tops of trees and I never heard them 
calling. I also received a £ (in spirit) shot about mid August 1962 at an un- 
known locality in high forest near the upper Coppename River. It is pre- 
served as a skeleton in the Museum of Zoology of the University of Michigan 
at Ann Arbor. 

It is obvious from these records that the Crimson Fruitcrow still occurs 
in widely separated localities in Surinam and in high forest as well as in 
savanna forest. The opening up of the interior of the country is being 
accelerated by the building of roads, and this is inevitably followed by the 
cutting and burning of the surrounding forest for short time agriculture. 
There is no cause for complacency over the future survival of this magnifi- 
cent bird. Up till now it has not been lecorded in any of the nature reserves 
which have been established during the last years. 

I wish to thank Miss Feekes and Mr. Davis for permitting me to publish their observations. 


Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds of Surinam. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 

Snow, D. W. 1976. The Web of Adaptation. Bird Studies in the American Tropics. London: 

Snyder, D. E. 1966. The Birds of Guyana. Salem. Peabody Museum. 

Address: Wolfskuilstraat 16, 7731 AT OMMEN, Holland 

77 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 

Notes on tool-using by Egyptian Vultures 

Neophron percnopterus 

by Jeffery Bosivall 

Received 2j March iyjj 

It is worth placing on record that the use of stones to break open an egg of 
the Ostrich Struthio camelus was experimentally induced in a wild Egyptian 
Vulture Neophron percnopterus on the football pitch at the Mitchell-Cotts 
estate neai Tendaho, Wollo Province, Ethiopia, on about 9 May 1970. The 
shell of an Ostrich egg was purchased in a local curio shop, filled with water, 
sealed, put out and almost immediately bombarded by a local Egyptian 
Vulture. No notes were made but a film showing the behaviour was taken 
(Fisher 1970). The sequence with the vulture bombarding the egg runs 
about i\ minutes. The film implies that the behaviour was seen in the Awash 
National Park, Shoa Province, but in fact it was observed near Tendaho, well 
to the north. The behaviour of the bird appears to be similar to that des- 
cribed by the Lawick-Goodalls (1966, 1968). 

Alcock (1970), writing on the possible origin of tool-using by the Egyptian 
Vulture, attributes to the Lawick-Goodalls the view that the bird's use of 
stones was "restricted to a limited population of vultures" and that "stone- 
throwing by vultures is widespread in only one area". For fear that this 
misquotation be perpetuated it is worth drawing attention to the fact that 
the Lawick-Goodalls (1968) specifically say ". . . we have not yet learned 
whether stone-throwing is a local custom or common to the species as a 

Baxter et al. (1969) drew attention to a nineteenth century reference to the 
use of tools by the Egyptian Vulture by Wood (1877), who, it seemed likely, 
had heard or read a first or second hand account of the behaviour. The 
account was clearly that of Sir James Alexander quoted by Andersson (1856). 
On the authority of the natives about the Orange River in southwest Africa, 
Sir James says that when the Ostriches leave their nests in the middle of the 
day "a white Egyptian Vulture may be seen soaring in mid-air, with a stone 
between his talons. Having surveyed the ground below him, he suddenly lets 
fall the stone, then follows it in rapid descent. Let the hunter run to the spot, 
and he will find a nest of probably a score of eggs, some of them broken by 
the vulture". This method must await confirmation by modern observers, 
but I think we can safely accept that the vultures were responsible for break- 
ing the Ostrich eggs by one means or another. Another nineteenth century 
reference is that of Myers (1 876). He and a companion in March 1875 concealed 
themselves near the nest of an Ostrich near Kassala in the Sudan, intent upon 
shooting the returning bird. "After an hour . . . two visitors in the form of 
vultuies pounced down upon the nest, and, apparently quite satisfied w^ith 
the certainty of a quiet feast, commenced operations by a personal hunt 
amongst their own feathers, then a general survey was made of the white 
objects before them; and finally having retired for a moment, each returned 
with a stone in its beak and set to work to hammer a hole through the shell 
of an egg". 

Thus the use of tools by Egyptian Vultures is established in localities as 
far apart as 5,000 km in Africa. Since the birds respond so readily to eggs 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)1 78 

put out for them (Lawick-Goodalls 1966, 1968, Richard Brock (pers. comm). 
and this note), it would be interesting to experiment elsewhere, particularly 
in areas where the Ostrich is now extinct and even peihaps in places where it 
has never been recorded but where the vulture lives, for example in Spain. 

References : 

Alcock, J. 1970. The origin of tool-using by Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus. Ibis 
112: 542. 

Andersson, C. J. 1856. Lake N garni or Explorations and Discovery during Four Years Wander- 
ings in the Wilds of South Western Africa. Hurst and Beckett: London. 

Baxter, R. M., Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1969. A 19th Century reference to tool-using 
by the Egyptian Vulture.//. E. Africa Nat. Hist. Soc. 27: 231. 

Fisher, D. 1970. Wildlife Safari to Ethiopia 3; Africa s Newest National Park. One 16mm., 
25 min. colour film. B.B.C. 

Lawick-Goodall, Jane van & Hugo van. 1966. Use of tools by Egyptian Vulture Neophron 
percnopterus. Nature 212: 1468-9. 

Lawick-Goodall, J. van & van Lawick, H. 1968. Tool-using bird: the Egyptian Vulture. 
Nat. Geogr. 133(5): 631-641. 

Myers, A. B. R. 1876. Life with the Hamran Arabs. Smith, Elder & Co: London. 

Wood, J. G. 1877. Wood's Bible Animals. J. W. Lyon & Co: Ontario. 

Address: Natural History Unit, B.B.C, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR, England. 

First record of the Knot Calidris canutus, and other 
records, from Belize (British Honduras) 

by Richard Erickson 

Received 26 March 1977 
The distribution of the avifauna of Belize has been analysed by Russell (1964), 
and more recent records have been published in three subsequent papers 
(Barlow et al. 1969, 1970, 1972) and in recent Christmas Count issues of 
American Birds (Young 1973-19760). Young's data are included here together 
with observations I made while visiting Belize in late December 1974, and 
which affect the published status of some species. Scientific nomenclature 
follows Morony et al. (1975) except in the genus Sterna where amended by 
the American Ornithologists' Union (1976). 

Eudocimus albus White Ibis. Ten, including several immatures, were 
flushed from mangroves just south of Stann Creek on 26 December. Al- 
though found locally throughout most of Mexico and Central America, 
Russell lists no recent records and none from the Stann Creek District. 
Recorded by Young 1973-75 at Christmas at Belize City. 

Anas acuta Pintail. About 30 present on a lagoon in mangroves just 
south of Stann Creek on 26 December. A rare to uncommon winter visitor 
in Central America, Russell mentions no more than six together at one time. 

Spizaetus tyrannus Black Hawk Eagle. An adult I saw on 29 December 
c. 3 km east of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway is the third record 
for Belize. Russell cites one collected at nearby Middlesex in February 1923, 
and Young records singletons at Belize City 26 Dec 1974 and at Belmopan 3 1 
Dec 1975. 

Gallinula chloropus Moorhen. Eight were counted on several ponds 
on the Northern Highway between Orange Walk and Belize City on 23 
December, and three on a pond c. 8 km west of Belize City on 24 December. 

79 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977' 97(3)] 

Russell listed several sight records from two localities, and there are now 
three April specimens from Rockstone Pond near Belize City (Barlow et al. 
1969). Young gives 1973-76 Christmas sight records at Belize City, including 
no less than 60 on 27 Dec 1975 . The species is obviously more common than 
once thought. 

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus Willet. One present at Belize City on 23 
December, another at the mouth of Stann Creek 26 December and four there 
the next day. Russell lists very few records and only in February, April and 
August. Young records it for Christmas 1974 and 1975 in very small numbers 
at Belize City. 

Calidris canutus Knot. One with terns and other shorebirds at the 
mouth of Stann Creek on 27 December is the first record for Belize. Rarely 
reported, almost solely as a migrant, between the United States and its major 
wintering grounds in South America (Bond 1971, Peterson & Chalif 1973), 
there are no records for the Caribbean coast of Guatemala (Land 1 970) and 
only one for the Caribbean coast of Honduras (Monroe 1968). Its inclusion 
in a list of the birds of Belize by Davis (1968) is apparently an unsubstantiated 

Calidris alba Sanderling. Forty on the beach at Stann Creek on 27 
December. Surprisingly, Russell lists only two previous records : North Two 
Cays in 1864 (date and number seen unknown) and four at Stann Creek 28 
Mar 1956. Not uncommon throughout most of Central America (Peterson & 
Chalif 1973). 

Larus delawarensis Ring-billed Gull. A sub-adult and an immature at 
Belize City 23 December. Only two previous records : five at Corozal 1 5 Aug 
i960, and a sub-adult at Belize City 22 Aug 1961 (Russell). Rarely found in 
the Atlantic south of the northern Gulf coast of Mexico (Petersen & Chalif 
1973) and the northern West Indies (Bond 1971). There is only one record 
from Guatemala (Land 1970) and thiee from Honduras (Brown & Monioe 

Gelochelidon nilotica Gull-billed Tern. One at Belize City 24 
December. Russell lists only two records : five collected from a flock of ten 
at Stann Creek 28 Mar 1956 and two at Belize City 7-9 Aug 1957. Uncommon 
throughout much of Mexico and Central America in winter (Peterson & 
Chalif 1973). 

Sterna caspia Caspian Tern. One present with Royal Terns Sterna 
maxima at the mouth of Stann Creek 26-27 December. Russell listed only 
three records, all to the north, and Young recorded two at Christmas in 1973 
and three in 1974. Land (1970) shows no records from the Caribbean coast 
of Guatemala, and Monroe (1968) lists only three from Honduras, which 
are the southernmost for Central America, though they do winter on the 
Caribbean coast of South America (Meyei de Schauensee 1970). 

Sterna sandvicensis Sandivich Tern. Six at Belize City 24 December and 
1 5 at the mouth of Stann Creek 27 December. Russell lists only four records, 
none south of Belize City or the Northern Two Cays. Barlow et al. (1972) 
reported two at the mouth of Stann Creek on 18 Dec 1970. Listed as rather 
rare in southeastern Mexico (Edwards 1972) and Guatemala (Land 1970), 
and not recorded until recently from Honduras (Brown & Monroe 1974). 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 80 

Columba flavirostris Red-billed Pigeon. One seen at the southern out- 
skirts of Stann Creek 26 December is the southernmost record for Belize. 
Russell lists one record for 19 Aug i960 at Corozal. More recently Barlow 
et al. (1970) reported three or four at Rockstone Pond between 8 February 
and 25 June 1969 and Young records singles at Belize City Christmas 1973, 
1975 and 1976. Occurs as far south as Costa Rica (A.O.U. 1957) but prefers 
more arid regions. Land (1970) mentions no records for the Caribbean slope 
of Guatemala, and Monroe (1968) considered them uncommon in arid 
interior valleys on the Caribbean slope of Honduras. 

Chordeiles sp. Four nighthawks flying high over Stann Creek at dusk on 
24 December and five the next evening weie probably minor, though the 
Antillean form, gaudlachii, cannot be excluded. Russell and other authors give 
no winter records of either form north of South America, but Young records 
the "Common Nighthawk" at Belize City every Christmas 1973-76. 

Chlorostilbon canivetii Fork-tailed Emerald. Two males and a female 
were seen just north of the Sittee River on the Southern Highway 26 Decem- 
ber. Widespread throughout southern Mexico and Central America, Russell, 
however, has no records south of Manatee Lagoon. 

Amazilia rutila Cinnamon Hummingbird. At least two present at Stann 
Creek 24-27 December. Russell and Young both give few records for 
mainland Belize and none from this far south. Apparently absent from the 
Caribbean slope of Guatemala (Land 1970) and northwestern Honduras 
(Monroe 1968). 

Melanerpes pygmaeus Red-vented Woodpecker. Belize is the southern 
limit for this very local species. A male at Maskalls 29 December is only the 
fourth record. Russell lists two collected at Belize City in 193 1 and Barlow 
et al. (1969) another near there in i960 and one from Rockstone Pond in 1967. 

Hirundo rustica Swallow. Fifteen counted on the Northern Highway 
between Orange Walk and Belize City on 23 December and three more at 
Stann Creek 27 December. Russell lists no records after 24 November but 
Young has Christmas records at Belize City for 1973-76. Uncommon in 
winter north of Panama (A.O.U. 1957). 

Molothrus aeneus Bronzed Cowbird. About 2 5 birds together at Benque 
Viejo, near the Guatemalan border, on 28 December. Russell mentions only 
one, undated, record from nearby Cayo. Barlow et al. (1969) report one col- 
lected at Rockstone Pond 16 June 1968 and Young has recorded a few at 
Christmas at Belize City 1974-76. Widespread throughout much of Central 
America but rare in the Peten (Land 1970) and not recorded from Tikal 
(Smithe 1966). 

Passerculus sandwichensis Savannah Sparrow. Seven in a grassy field at 
the north end of Stann Creek on 27 December. Russell considered it an 
occasional winter visitant and listed few records, including four in a grassy 
field at Stann Creek 28 Mar 1956. Monroe (1968) lists very few records for 
Honduras and considered it a rare winter visitant. Land (1970) shows no 
records for the Caribbean slope of Guatemala and Miller et al. (1957) listed 
the subspecies savanna as a sparse winter visitor to the Atlantic coast of 
Mexico, including records for Yucatan and Quintana Roo. 

8 1 [Bull. B.O.C. 1 977-' 97(3)] 

Acknowledgements : Thanks are especially due to Tom Schulenberg for initially suggesting 
I write this note and for his continued encouragement and aid in searching the literature. 
J. V. Remsen also provided useful advice. 
References : 

American Ornithologists' Union. 1957. Checklist of North American Birds. Fifth Edition. 

Baltimore, Md. 
— 1976. Thirty -third supplement to the A.O.U. checklist of North American birds. Auk 

93: 875-879. 
Barlow, J. C, Dick, J. A., Baldwin, D. H. & Davis, R. A. 1969. New records of birds 

from British Honduras. Ibis in: 399-402. 
Barlow, J. C, Dick, J. A. & Pendergast, E. 1970. Additional records of birds from British 

Honduras (Belize). Condor 72: 371-372. 
Barlow, J. C, Dick, J. A., Weyer, D. & Young, W. F. 1972. New records of birds from 

British Honduras (Belize), including a Skua. Condor 74: 486-487. 
Bond, J. 1971. Birds of the West Indies. Second edition, Collins: London. 
Brown, H. C. & Monroe, B. L. 1974. Bird records from Honduras. Condor 76: 348-349. 
Davis, L. I. 1968. Birds of Yucatan and the Peten. Published by author, 2502 Keating Lane, 

Austin, Texas. 
Edwards, E. P. 1972. A Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico. E. P. Edwards: Sweet Briar, Va. 
Land, H. C. 1970. Birds of Guatemala. Livingston Publ. Co: Wynnewood, Pa. 
Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1 970. A Guide to the Birds of South America. Livingston Publ. Co. : 

Wynnewood, Pa. 
Miller, A. H., Friedmann, H., Griscom, L. & Moore, R. T. 1957. Distributional checklist 

of the birds of Mexico. Part II. Pac. Coast Avifauna: 33. 
Monroe, B. L. Jr. 1968. A distributional survey of the birds of Honduras. Ornithol. Monogr. 


Morony, J. J. Jr., Bock, W. J. & Farrand, J. Jr. 1975. Reference List of Birds of the World. 

American Museum of Natural History: New York. 
Peterson, R. T. & Chalif, E. L. 1973. A Field Guide to Mexican Birds. Houghton Miffln 

Co.: Boston. 
Russell, S. M. 1964. A distributional study of the birds of British Honduras. Ornithol. 

Monogr. 1. 
Smithe, F. B. 1966. The Birds ofTikal. Nat. Hist. Press: Garden City, N.Y. 
Young, W. F. 1973. Christmas bird count. Belize City, Belize. Am. Birds 27: 538-539; 1974, 

Am. Birds 28: 550-551; 1975, Am. Birds 29: 596-597; 1976a, Am. Birds 30: 624-625; 

1976b, Belmopan, Belize. Am. Birds 30: 625-626. 

Address: Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Hayward, CA 
94542, U.S.A. 

On the egg of Vidua purpurascens 
by J. F. R. Colebrook-Robjent 

Received 4 April 1977 
Nicolai (1964) and Payne (1973) have established that the three indigobirds 
(genus Vidua, subgenus Hjpochera) of southern Africa each mimic the calls of 
and parasitize a different species of Tagonosticta firefinch. Vidua purpurascens 
is approporiately called the Dusky Indigobird in Payne's monograph and he 
writes under this species (1973: 235): "All individuals that I heard and 
recorded in the field and also all ten males heard in captivity mimicked the 
calls and songs of L. rhodopareia" . It would appear from this work, and also 
Friedmann (i960) and McLachlan & Liversidge (1970) that the eggs of V. 
purpurascens are undescribed, although Payne recoids uncalcified oviduct 
eggs from all the indigobirds, including a white shelled egg from V. pur- 
purascens in Rhodesia, which was broken. 

At 09.00 on 13 March 1977 a male Pink-backed Firefinch Lagonosticta 
rhodopareia was flushed at my feet from a typical grass domed nest just above 
the ground in the centre of a thick tuft of green grass. The nest was under a 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977- 97(5)1 82 

Mfuti tree Brachystegia bohmii in a flowerbed in my garden, which borders 
somewhat disturbed Miombo woodland, near Choma, Zambia. The nest was 
not closely examined until 1 5 March when it was found to contain four eggs, 
obviously now deserted. All four eggs are very much alike and it is extremely 
doubtful that a parasitic egg would have been detected without careful 
examination, though in fact one of them was that of an indigobird, evidently 
V. purpurascens, the only species of indigobird I have noted on this farm in 
over five years residence. Before being blown the eggs of the paiasite differed 
from the host's in a number of ways : the Vidua egg appeared to have a paler 
yolk and the diameter of the ail space was smaller, measuring ^.5-5 mm 
against;-. 7-5-8-0 mm for the firefinch's eggs; the Vidua egg was more 
rounded at both ends and with larger pores and also had protuberances 
which are lacking in the host's eggs ; conversely, the eggs of the firefinch were 
more oval and pointed at the narrow end. On puncturing the eggs with a pin 
there was a marked difference in shell thickness, that of the Vidua requiring 
greater pressure to pierce it. On emptying the eggs there was found to be no 
discernable difference in yolk colour, the apparently paler yolk of the parasite's 
egg being due to its thicker shell. It must be emphasised, however, that these 
distinctions are extremely subtle and are likely to be overlooked by anyone 
not particularly looking for differences. 

There are no breeding records for V . purpuras cens in Benson et. al. (1971), 
though birds with active gonads have been collected from January to March 
and in May. Previously, I had found only five nests with eggs of L. rhodo- 
pareia since 1970, all in the Choma District, three in February, and one each 
in March and May; four were C/4 and one C/5, none of which weie para- 

Egg shell weights of the Village Indigobird V. chalybeata are significantly 
heavier, on average, than those of its small host, the Red-billed Firefinch L. 
senegala (Colebrook-Robjent, in prep). In the present record the eggs of the 
Pink-backed Fiiefinch are slightly larger (certainly longer) than the egg of 
the Dusky Indigobird, but they weighed less than the parasitic egg, as clearly 
shown below. All shells were weighed on a Mettler H 10 T w scale. 

Egg s*Z e ^ell weight 

{in mrri) {in gms) 

Vidua purpurascens : 15-4X12-0 -071 

Lagonosticta rhodopareia: 15-8x11-6 -050 

15 -6 x 11 -9 -056 

15 -6 X n-6 -053 

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Dr. G. W. Howard, Department of Biology, Uni- 
versity of Zambia, who kindly allowed me the use of his Mettler scale. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. 

London: Collins. 
Friedmann, H. i960. The Parasitic Weaverbirds. Bull. U.S. Natn. Mus. 223. 
McLachlan, G. R. & Liversidge, R. 1970. Roberts' Birds of South Africa. Cape Town: John 

Voelcker Bird Book Fund. 
Nicolai, J. 1964. Der Brutparasitismus der Viduinae als ethologisches Problem. Zeitschr.f 

Tierpsychol. 21: 129-204. 
Payne, R. B. 1973. Behaviour, mimetic songs and song dialects and relationships of the 

parsitic indigobirds {Vidua) of Africa. A.O.U. Ornith. Monog. 11. 

Address: Musumanene, P.O. Box 303, Choma, Zambia. 

8 3 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(3)] 

Muscicapa williamsoni Deignan ; a reappraisal 

by D. R. Wells 

Received 4 April 1977 

Among eastern continental forms of the Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa 
latirostris, Deignan (1957) assigned tropical resident status to M. I. siamensis 
known from the highlands of northern Thailand and southern Vietnam, to 
an unnamed population said to resemble Palaearctic M. I. latirostris in 
peninsular Malaysia, and to a redder, ventrally streaked but clearly related 
bird of wide Southeast Asian distribution which he named Muscicapa 
williamsoni. This last named, new, species remained unrecognised in the field 
until 1 September 1966 when an immature was mist-netted in a wooded 
suburban garden near Malacca, peninsular Malaysia, and killed there the 
following day by a cat (Medway & Wells 1970). Identification was confirmed 
from British Museum (Natural History) paratypes by Mrs. B. P. Hall (in 
lift. 1969). In 1975 others were recognised in similar habitat near Kuala 
Lumpur and on Penang island, and two specimens were collected that year at 
Frasei's Hill (3 43' N), Pahang state. Further comparison of these recent 
acquisitions with most of Deignan's type series, including the holotype 
(ANSP 127964), plus additional material from the Field and American 
Museums, Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and University of 
Singapore, has revealed deficiencies in the original description. 

Adult. Entire upper body from forehead milk-chocolate-brown, faintly 
bloomed vinaceous in a fresh-plumaged recent skin, slightly rufescent in 
older material. In all specimens upper tail-coverts a shade more rufescent than 
elsewhere. Upper wing-coverts dark brown: lesser and median coverts 
margined chocolate-brown (distinctly rufescent in some skins), greater 
coverts margined a paler, buff-brown. Remiges dark brown, basal half to 
two-thirds of the inner webs pinkish buff; secondaries tipped and externally 
margined buff, most conspicuously on the proximal feathers. Rectrices dark 
brown finely margined chocolate-brown on the outer webs. Eye-ring pinkish 
buff; lores off-white, finely tipped brown; sides of head and body to flanks 
chocolate-brown; chin to under teil-coverts white to buff- white with medium 
to broad, adolescent chocolate-brown streaks over the breast. Chin and 
throat vary in the extent to which they are more finely streaked. Thighs and 
under wing-coverts pinkish buff. Feet blackish; claws dark horn; upper 
mandible blackish horn, lower mandible yellow suffused dark horn at the 
extreme tip. Iris dark brown. 


Measurements (mm) from Muscicapa williamsoni and related taxa 
M. williamsoni 
106*6* 4?? 

Wing-length 68-73 (7 1 ) 68 ~7i ( 6 S>) 
Tail-length 44-52 (49) 46-49 (48) 
Tarsus 13-15 (14) 13— 1 5 (14) 

Bill-length 7 • 5-8 • 7 (8 • 1) 7 • 4-8 • o (7 • 8) 
Bill-width 4-6-5-7 (5-2) 5-0-5-8 (5-3) 

Notes: Wing-length is maximum chord. 

Bill-length is from tip to anterior margin of nares and bill-width is across the 
upper mandible at the latter level. 
Averages are given in brackets. 

M . 1. siamensis 

M. 1. latirostris 

3 6*? 



68-72 (70) 


40-50 (47) 


14-15 (14) 


6-7-7'7 (7'4) 


4-3-5-5 (5-2) 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 84 

Immature. Fledgling body plumage, seen only in one specimen, is buff- 
spotted. After post-juvenile moult head and body are as in adults although 
the 1 966 specimen form Malacca is more rufescent overall and has narrower 
streaks on the underparts. Primary coverts tipped and greater coverts edged 
and broadly tipped rufous-buff, palest on the inner feathers. Remiges extern- 
ally margined and tipped creamy buff, finely on the primaries, broadly and 
conspicuously towards the inner secondaries. Rectrices finely margined 
rufous-buff and conspicuously tipped creamy buff. 

Measurements. See Table 1. 

Range. Southern Burma (Pegu district), southern Vietnam (Saigon), 
central and southern Thailand (Bangkok district, Prachuap Khiri Khan, 
Chumphon, Phangnga and Krabi provinces), peninsular Malaysia (Penang, 
Pahang, Selangor and Malacca states), Sumatra (Medan district and Siberut 
island — ZDUS collection) and Sarawak (First Division — SM collection). 
There are no records from the Philippines ((/Medway & Wells 1976); the 
skin from Negros island discussed by Deignan (1957) is M. I. randi. 

Habitat and Behaviour. Specimens come from sea-level to 1300 m a.s.l., 
though most recent encounters in Malaysia have been in the lowlands, in 
wooded gardens and on the edge of disturbed forest. In my own garden near 
Kuala Lumpur up to two immatures were present on most days between 26 
July and 6 August and an adult was seen on 22 August 1975. All frequented 
the interior crowns of ornamental trees {Spondias, Adenanthera and Pelto- 
phorum) 2-5 m from the ground and commonly foraged from perches later 
used by wintering M. I. latirostris. Prey was captured in short sallying flights 
with a slightly greater tendency than in latirostris to pick directly from bark 
and leaf surfaces and a lesser tendency to return to the original perch. They 
were intermittently attacked by resident Pied Trillers Lalage nigra and the leaf- 
searching warbler Gerygone sulphurea, and one noisy intraspecific confronta- 
tion and chase flight between the two immatures was seen on 6 August. 
Vocalizations included a brief, thin tsi, a buzzing chichichichi similar to the dry 
chitter of wintering latirostris,, and soft, prolonged subsong by the adult on 
22 August. 

Though I could not compare them in the field directly, at fairly close range 
separation of both adult and young williamsoni from paler, greyer wintering 
M. I. latirostris would not have been difficult. The recent sightings and 
material similarly invalidate Vaurie's objection (in Mayr 1971; see also 
Amadon & DuPont 1970) that williamsoni has been inadequately separated 
from siamensis; rufescence in williamsoni is clearly neither transient nor due to 
foxing. Three siamensis, all collected more than 40 years ago, are paler, more 
fawn-brown above than any post-fledgling stage of williamsoni and barely a 
shade browner than contemporaneous M. I. latirostris \ while below siamensis 
are off-white, faintly sullied fawn-grey across the breast, which is finely 
streaked in birds from Vietnam (ZDUS collection; USNM 278528), and not 
at all in one from northwest Thailand (USNM 350230). Eye-ring and under 
wing-coverts are whitish rather than buff, as in latirostris, but the bill resembles 
williamsoni: upper mandible brownish black, lower dull yellow suffused horn 
at the extreme tip, distinct from latirostris in which the apical half of the 
lower mandible is sharply demarcated blackish. 

Colour differences are constant enough for acceptance of williamsoni as 
distinct, presumably within the Musicapa latirostris complex; but whatever 

8 5 [Bull. B.O.C. j 977 : 97(3)] 

its status, Deignan's argument for full species rank through sympatry in 
peninsular Malaysia is flimsy. Breeding by Brown Flycatchers in Malaysia 
was rumoured by Robinson (1928) but without supporting evidence, and 
there is no subsequent indication except from a bird shot by G. C. Madoc's 
collector in north Kedah state while it hung about a small but empty nest in 
a roadside rubber tree. Indentification, however, was never confirmed and 
the specimen is now lost. Its date, beginning of May 1941, Mr. Madoc informs 
me was in any case an estimate based on correspondence which he retrieved 
from the abandoned Raffles Museum, Singapore, after his original field-notes 
had been lost during the Japanese invasion. Although wintering Brown 
Flycatchers have been recorded as late as 27 April, and regularly forage from 
one or a few habitual perches, the association of bird and nest could still have 
been coincidence. 

Deignan's own evidence for summer residents in Malaysia was provided by 
two skins (BMNH 86.4.1 181, 11 82) "oilatirostris fades" obtained by W. R. 
Davison at Malacca in July 1877. By contemporary standards Davison was a 
meticulous recorder and lack of more precise dates on these specimens seems 
as suspicious as their tight cylindrical shape, typical of the trade productions 
for which 19th century Malacca was a well-known entrepot. Since Davison 
invariably made nattish skins himself (many BMNH examples extant) he 
could have bought these two as prepared specimens, in which case their true 
collection dates and even provenance are in doubt. They are slightly browner 
and smaller than average, due perhaps to age and shrinkage, but otherwise 
indistinguishable from ordinary northern migrants. No claim of sympatry 
between williamsoni and siamensis has ever been made; indeed, the nearest 
approach by williamsoni to the known range of siamensis is made by an un- 
dated specimen (BMNH labelled "Saigon". Dran, the only 
Vietnamese locality for siamensis that I have come across, is about 260 km to 
the northeast, at 1000 m a.s.l. in the pine zone on the road between Phan 
Rung and Da Lat (Dr. B. Rollet). 

Finally there is the status of williamsoni itself. No nest has ever been 
reported and the one bird showing fledgling feathers (FMNH 81 161, dated 
1 5 August from central Thailand) is in mainly post-juvenile plumage with no 
obvious sign of active moult. Deignan apparently never saw this specimen 
and based his supposition of residence on what he considered to be summer 
records. In effect twelve of the 17 collection dates and all but two sightings 
fall between 21 July and 14 September, an eight week period more evocative 
of passage migration, particularly as some other undoubtedly migrant 
passerines (including a flycatcher) are now known to reach their Southeast 
Asian wintering grounds by late July-early August (Medway & Wells 
1976). Other dates are in November, December, January, February and 
March, and the longest gap in the record starts actually at the seasonal peak 
of nesting by insectivorous birds in Malaysia. 

Further points in favour of migrant rather than resident status are that the 
winter dated records (November-March) come exclusively from south of 
latitude io°N; that on 13 August and 8 December 1975 an adult and first- 
winter juvenile were caught at flood-lights with known long-distance 
nocturnal migrants crossing the crest of the Malayan main range at Ftaser's 
Hill; that the shape of the wing-tip of williamsoni (Figure 1) much more 
closely resembles migratory M. /. latirostris than the proven tropical resident 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 


Figure 1 . Average wing-tips of williamsoni and four subspecies of Muscicapa latirostris, 
drawn to scale. Numbers in parentheses are sample sizes and the vertical bars represent the 
range of short-fall behind the wing tip of primaries 1, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 (descendant). 

williamsoni (12) latirostris (11) siamensis (3) segregata (6) randi(&) 

M. I. segregata of Sumba island, Lesser Sundas, or M. I. randi which Amadon 

6 DuPont (1970) have guessed is resident in the Philippines ; and finally what 
is known of the timing of moult. Among almost all resident insectivores, 
at least in Malaysia, moult occurs June-October, yet only two of 16 william- 
soni examined show moult, including the type (an adult male) dated 3 
August, from south Thailand, in which primaries 1-6 (descending) are new, 

7 is growing, 8-10 are old and rectrices 2-6 are growing, while a post- 
juvenile male, dated 30 July, from south Burma, is growing some tail- and 
wing-coverts and body feathers. Most of the others have wings and tail 
unworn and the total freshness of the August male from Fraser's Hill sug- 
gests that, like northern latirostris (Stresemann & Stresemann 1974, Nisbet 
& Neufeldt 1975), adults normally complete all moult before they migrate, 
although juveniles retain their remiges and rectrices until later. The excep- 
tional two could have suffered arrest of moult during migration, as sometimes 
occurs in autumn among Lanius cristatus and Locustella certhiola wintering in 
Malaysia (Medway & Wells 1976.) 

The above arguments, of course, merely weaken certain previous as- 
sumptions, and although williamsoni^ siamensis and latirostris form a pur- 
suasive chromatic cline, the only positively fresh clue to relationships is a 
possible williamsoni - latirostris intergrade (SM 458) dated 16 November 1956 
from Ulu Simunjan, south Sarawak (Borneo). This is an adult female, wing- 
length 72 mm, tail 50 mm, tarsus 14 mm, bill-length from nostrils 6-7 mm, 
width $ • o mm. The wing-linings are whitish and the apical half of the lower 
mandible sharply demarcated blackish as in latirostris. The bill is also nearly 
1 mm shorter, and the shortness in relation to the wing-tip of primaries 1-6 
and 10 is slightly greater, than in any ivilliamsoni measured. Against this 
several specimens of williamsoni are closely matched by the brown of the 
upperparts, flanks, sides of the breast, wings and tail, and buff edging of the 
greater wingcoverts and inner secondaries. Crucial areas of the face, throat 
and breast have unfortunately been ruined by varnish. 

If, as several times suggested, williamsoni and latirostris are in fact con- 
specific and, as now seems likely, merely synhiemic in Southeast Asia, 
William sotn's unknown breeding range could be restricted. Brown Flycatchers 

8 7 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 

in the Himalayas are of latirostris fades (Stresemann & Stresemann 1 974) and 
these authors report, and I have re-examined, typical latirostris dated June, 
July and August, including birds in moult (USNM collection), from the 
mountains of Szechuan and Yunnan, southern China. 

Acknowledgements : I owe special thanks to Mr. B. D. Bond for sending in the first recent 
specimen of williamsoni from Malacca; to Mr. H. T. Pagden for field observations from 
Penang; Mr. G. C. Madoc for his unpublished records; and Messrs. R. M. de Schauensee 
and I. C. J. Galbraith for comparative data from the type specimen and two inaccessible 
paratypes. Other specimens, including as far as I am aware all other recognised williamsoni, 
were borrowed through the kind co-operation of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Phila- 
delphia (ANSP), the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the Berlin Zoological 
Museum, the B.P. Bishop Museum, the British Museum of Natural History (BMNH), the 
Delaware Museum, the Federal Malaysian Game Department, the Field Museum (FMNH), 
the Museum Zoologicum, Bogor, the Sarawak Museum (SM), the United States National 
Museum (USNM) and the Zoology Department, University of Singapore (ZDUS). 

Note: Mr. E. C. Dickinson has suggested to me {in lit/) that by including the Brown- 
breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttni in the Thai fauna, Ripley (1961) and Ali & Ripley (1972) 
have compounded an early misidentification of M. I. siamensis by Deignan (1945). These 
taxa are unlikely to be conspecific and as Deignan later pointed out williamsoni and muttni 
are equally dissimilar. 

References : 

Ali, S. & Ripley, S. D., 1972, Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan Vol. 7. Bombay: 

Oxford University Press. 
Amadon, D. & DuPont, J. E. 1970. Notes on Philippine birds. Nemouria 1: 1-14. 
Deignan, H. G. 1945. The birds of northern Thailand. Bull, U.S. natn. Mus. 186: i-v, 1-616. 

— 1957. A new flycatcher from southeastern Asia, with remarks on Muscicapa latirostris 
Raffles. Ibis 99: 340-344. 

Mayr, E. 1971. New species of birds described from 195610 1965./. Orn.Lp^. 112: 302-316. 
Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1970. Bird Report: 1968. Malay. Nat.f. 23 : 47-77. 

— 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 5 . London H. F. & G. Witherby. 
Nisbet, I C. T. & Neufeldt, I. 1975. Studies of less familiar birds 175 : Brown Flycatcher. 

Brit. Birds 68: 68-75. 
Ripley, S. D. 1961. A Synopsis of the birds of India and Pakistan. Bombay: Bombay Natural 

History Society. 
Robinson, H. C. 1928. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 2. London: H. F. & G. Wither- 

Stresemann, E. & Stresemann, V. 1974. Problems resulting from the discontinuous 

distribution of Muscicapa latirostris Raffles./. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc, 71: 445-451. 

Address: Zoology Department, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 22-11, Malaysia. 

Phedina borbonica madagascariensis in the Atnirantes 

by C. J. Feare 

Received 9 April 19 yj 

On 15 October 1976 a Phedina martin was discovered flying around egg 
collectors' huts on Desnoeufs (53 1' E, 6° 13' S) in the Amirantes, Indian 
Ocean. The bird was caught by hand at night while it was roosting in a build- 
ing, and the skin is preserved in the British Museum (Natural History). It was 
a $, with a completely ossified skull and a regiessing ovary. It weighed 1 8 g, 
and while there was a little subcutaneous fat on the neck there was none 
elsewhere. Wing and maximum width of the upper mandible of the Des- 
noeufs specimen, and of other Phedina specimens in the BMNH collection, 
are given in Table 1. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 88 

Measurements (mm) of Phedina specimens in the British Museum (Natural History) 

Mean wing Mean max. upper 

Locality (n) Sex length mandible width 

± SD, range ± SD, range 

P. horhonica 




12- I 

P. horhonica 







Lake Chilwa 














± 3-1, 107-119 








±i-6, 113-118 

± o-6, 




6 unsexed 



± 4-0, 111-122 

± i-5, 


P. horhonica 






±4-4, 109-118 



P. hra^ae 


8 $6* 



±2-8, 95-102 

± °'4> 


The plumage resembles P. horhonica madagascariensis and P. bra%%ae in that 
the breast and belly are streaked and the under tail-coverts white with dark 
feather shafts. The streaking is much more pronounced than in P. b. horhonica, 
in which the under tail-coverts are largely brown with white feather edgings. 
These plumage charactersitics, combined with the wing and bill measure- 
ments, identify the Desnoeufs specimen as P. b. madagascariensis. 

This is the first occurrence of the Madagascar Martin to the northeast of 
its breeding range in Madagascar. Elsewhere it has been recorded in two 
areas in East Africa in June-July (Benson 1944, Clancey et aL 1969), on 
Pemba between September and March (see Clancey et al. 1969) and on 
Aldabra in November (Benson & Penny 1971). According to Rand (1936), 
P. b. madagascariensis breeds in October and November, but possibly also in 
other months. The records on western Indian Ocean islands appear, there- 
fore, to fall within the known breeding season on Madagascar. At present 
there is too little information to indicate whether P. b. madagascariensis 
regulaily migrates to East Africa out of the breeding season. For comparison, 
some individuals of the Malagassy breeding Eurystomas g. glaucurus y which 
does do so (Moreau 1966), on their return migration appear to be blown off 
course and settle temporarily on various western Indian Ocean islands (see 
Benson (i960) for the Comores, Benson & Penny (1971) and Frith (1976) for 
the Aldabra group, Feare (1975) for the Seychelles, and I have an unpublished 
sight record on Providence Island on 27 October 1976). In a like way, any 
migrating P. b. madagascariensis may be blown off course : the present record 
followed the passage of cyclone Agatha through the Amirantes during 
10-13 October 1976. 

I am grateful to the National Geographic Society for their grant which enabled me to 
visit the Amirantes and to Mr. I. C. J. Galbraith, British Museum (Natural History), for 
permission to examine specimens. 

8 9 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1944. The Madagascar Martin from Nyasaland. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 65 : 4-5. 

— i960. The birds of the Comoro Islands. Ibis 103b: 5-106. 

Benson, C. W. & Penny, M. 1971. The land birds of Aldabra. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 

260: 4i7-5 2 7. 
Clancey, P. A., Lawson, W. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1969. The Madagascar Martin Pkedina 

borbonica (Gmelin) in Mozambique: a new species to the South African list. Ostrich 40: 

Feare, C. J. 1975. Further migrant birds in the Seychelles. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95 : 48-50. 
Frith, C. B. 1974. New observations of migrants and vagrants for Aldabra, Farquhar and 

Astove Atolls, Indian Ocean. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 12-19. 
Moreau, R. E. 1966. The Bird Faunas of Africa and its Islands. Academic Press: London. 
Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Am. Mus. nat. 

Hist. (5) 72: 143-499. 
Address: Pest Infestation Laboratory, Tangley Place, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey 


Normal and aberrant specimens of the Spotted-backed 

Weaver Ploceus cucullatus 

by D. B. Hanmer & C. W. Benson 

Received 27 April 1977 
The following observations are confined to Rhodesia, Zambia and Malawi, 
and cover only Ploceus cucullatus nigriceps and P. c. paroptus. They are based on 
an examination by D. B. H. of some 800 specimens handled by her in the 
course of netting operations since 1973 at Nchalo, lower Shire Valley, 
Malawi, 16 15' S, 34 55' E, 200 feet a.s.L; and by C. W. B. of 377 specimens 
preserved in the National Museum of Rhodesia (NMR), Bulawayo, and 40 
in the British Museum (Natural History) (BMNH), Tring. Following 
Clancey (1970), paroptus is recognised as separable from nigriceps, mainly on 
account of the somewhat richer colour of the male in breeding dress. In the 
region covered, paroptus replaces nigriceps in the Zambezi Valley below the 
Victoria Falls and in eastern Zambia generally, and in Malawi throughout. 

The immediately following remarks on plumage and soft parts are mainly 
a preliminary for the purpose of the present paper: variation — in sex, 
season and age — is complex, and requires further study. 

Adult plumage. The breeding dress of the adult male is well known, and 
needs no description. Although egg-laying is mostly in September/April 
(see Benson et al. 1964: 97), breeding dress is assumed sometimes as early as 
July, and is entirely absent perhaps only in May and June. In the off-season, 
in both sexes the crown is olive streaked dusky; the rest of the upperparts 
ashy grey, the mantle and scapulars streaked dusky. Below, the chin and 
throat are pale yellow, breast and flanks buffy, and the rest of the underparts 
white. In breeding dress the adult female is predominantly olive above, 
brightest on the crown, with the crown, mantle and scapulars streaked 
dusky, the mantle often with some admixture of ashy grey. The underparts 
are uniform bright yellow, less orange in tone than in the breeding male. 

Immature plumage. At what age the breeding dress is first assumed is still 
uncertain, but in both sexes the not fully adult bird resembles the off-season 
adult, except that in the earliest stages the mantle and scapulars are olivaceous 
brown rather than the adult ashy grey and the underparts as a whole are 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 90 

washed dull yellowish, not white. This was well evident in 9 out of 34 NMR 
specimens collected by H. D. Jackson on the Muneni River, near Umtali, 
18 59' S, 32 41' E, 25 November/5 December 1971: all nine had skull 
"soft". Two similarly coloured NMR specimens were one from Humani 
Ranch, 20 31' S, 32 16' E, 10 March 1972 (No. 75 817), and one from Mweru 
Marsh, 8° 28' S, 32 16' E, 27 May 1955 (No. 22045); the former not yet fully 
grown, wing only 70 mm and the crown uniform with the mantle, instead 
of a contrasting olive. That so few brown-mantled specimens were found in 
the large NMR series suggests that this stage of immature plumage occuis 
only for a short time, perhaps not more than two months. Mackworth-Praed 
& Grant (1955: 891 ; 1963 : 566) state that the young oinigriceps is ' 'similar" 
to the adult female in non-breeding dress, but has the whole upperside 
yellow-green; mantle and scapulars streaked with dusky", presumably basing 
this on the 180 BMNH specimens. Among these, which embrace the whole 
range of nigriceps and paroptus, only three were found pencilled in Captain 
Grant's handwriting as "young" : one, from the Athi River, Kenya, appears 
to be one of the xanthochroic examples which they mention, and is discussed 
below; another, from Beira, Mozambique, 4 December 1906, appears to be a 
female in breeding dress; and the third, from Port Herald (now Nsanje), 
Malawi, 6 June 1924, is like 11 NMR specimens discussed above, albeit 
slightly more olive on the mantle. No other specimen of an apparently very 
young bird could be found in Tring. The shorter statement by Mackworth- 
Praed & Grant (1973 : 615) that the "young bird is very similar to the adult 
female in non-breeding dress" seems more strictly correct. 

Soft parts. Broadly there appear to be three main colour stages in the soft 
parts: 1) young, perhaps always less than six months old; 2) intermediate; 
3) adult, capable of breeding, perhaps always more than 24 months old. 

Bill. Maxilla sepia, mandible whitish horn in stage 1 and stage 2, although 
in December/February the maxilla is blackish rather than sepia in some males 
which show no other sign of breeding dress, excepting four with black 
spotting (D. B. H.), referred to again below; darker in stage 3, in breeding 
male wholly black, not quite so intense in breeding female, keel of mandible 
tending to whitish horn. There is a tubercle on each side of the base (not 
apparent in museum specimens and unrecorded by any collector), relatively 
large, yellowish white at start of stage 1, diminishing and changing to brown 
(sometimes blackish in males) in stage 2 and black in stage 3. 

Eye. Brown ("grey" on some collectors' labels) in stage 1, changing to 
reddish brown in stage 2 and red in stage 3, with possibly some change to 
brownish red in the off-season (D. B. H.). Thus in February 1977 some 
females handled, in full breeding dress and with the oviduct visible on 
external examination (indicating that they had laid), had eyes brownish-red. 
No such change was noted in the males, but they were still nest-building, 
and the change might occur later. 

Legs and feet. Collectors' labels provide little data, but D. B. H. found them 
grey or grey-brown in stage 1, pinkish-brown in stage 2, bright pink in stage 
3, perhaps more brownish in off-season. 

It should be stressed that the ages at which the changes in plumage and 
colour of the soft parts occur require further investigation. 

Pneumati^ation. This may be quite slow : there is a BMNH specimen (No. 
1 93 6. 4. 1 3.368) collected by Rear- Admiral H. Lynes on 8 August 1933 at c. 

9i [Bull.B.O.C. 1977:91b)] 

io° 55' S, 26 48' E, not far north of the Zambia/Zaire boundary, marked 
"juv. o*, [wing 86 mm] testes quite clear. All skull clear, do weavers' skulls 
take a long time to fully ossify?". The specimen must have been from an egg 
laid not later than April (the normal end of the laying season), and already 
has the adult ashy grey (lacking any olivaceous brown) on the mantle and 
scapulars, and the yellow on the underparts confined almost entirely to the 
chin and throat. There is no record of the colour of the soft parts, but the 
maxilla appears dark sepia, the mandible whitish horn. 
Measurements. The male averages larger and heavier than the female (Table 1). 


Measurements (mm) and weights (g) of Ploceus cucullatus in whole or partial 

breeding dress 

Wing Weight 

Malawi AV \ Range AV ' Ran & 

izcfSS (Hve— D.B.H.) 87-1 83 — 91 37-7 33 — 46 

i 3 4?9 (live— D.B.H.) 8o-o 75 — 85 31-4 26 — 37 

22^ (skins) 86-2 83 — 88 — — 

2$$ (skins) — 77,81 — — 


lo lSS (skins) 87-5 82 — 91 — — 

43c?cJ(live) 3^-7 31-3— 48-3 

6399 (skins) 80-4 77 — 86 — — 

3699 (live) — — 31-6 26-8—39-3 


51^ (skins) 86-8 83 — 92 — — 

1799 (skins) 79-6 77 — 83 — 

A berrant plumage . 

(a) The most remarkable ai.e two found by D. B. H. at Nchalo. The first is 
dated 2 January 1976, and is now in the Museum of Malawi, Blantyre. Its 
wing when first examined, measured 79 mm (D. B. H.) and 77 mm on 14 
November 1976, after drying out (C. W. B.), weight 26 g, no wing moult 
evident. On dissection it proved to be a female holding minute oocytes 
(detected with a lens), with no indication from the oviduct that any egg had 
ever been laid, yet a fully pneumatized skull. The bill was horn-coloured, 
culmen darker; but anomalously in view of the state of the "adult" skull, 
the tubercles at the base of the bill were still large and yellowish white, and 
the eye reddish brown, not merely the brown of the intermediate growth 
stage. However, the most remarkable feature of this specimen, which was 
compared by C. W. B. with material oiparoptus in the National Museum of 
Kenya, Naiiobi, is the presence of male-like fresh breeding dress on all but 
the crown. The main plumage features are: — (1) crown olive, worn; (2) sides 
of head likewise, but some replacement by black; (3) nape black-and-yellow, 
fresh; (4) mantle and scapulars ashy grey, streaked dusky, worn, but some 
replacement with black-and-yellow, fresh, on one side; (5) underparts orange- 
yellow, with some black on throat and centre of chest, and bright saffron on 
sides of chest. On 9 January 1976 a similar specimen was found, though the 
anomalies were less pronounced. It too was smaller and lighter than any true 
male, wing 80 mm, weight 3 1 g. Unfortunately, before it could be skinned, 
it was eaten by a captive owl. 

{Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)1 92 

(b) In NMR C. W. B. found three specimens taken in the breeding season 
in adult non-breeding dress but with slight signs of breeding plumage: — (1) 
No. 77343, (J, Muneni River, near Umtali (see above), 21 October 1971, 
collector H. D. Jackson, has some yellow (same tone as on chin and throat of 
off-season birds) on underparts as a whole, but more significantly most 
feathers of chin and throat with a dusky spot towards apex, wing 87 mm, 
testes z\ x 2, z\ x \\ mm (thus not near breeding). The skull is labelled 
''hard", eye "brown", bill "dusky, flesh basally", but the bill now is very 
dark sepia, the keel of the mandible whitish horn. (2) No. 77340, <£, locality 
and collector as for 77343, date 25 November 1971, has yellow on the under 
parts as in 77343, but more extensive, some feathers on centre of throat black 
at base, some on sides of throat striated with black, wing 86 mm, testes 
"small". The skull is labelled "hard", eye "red", bill "black/grey", but the 
maxilla is now blackish sepia, the mandible whitish horn. (3) No. 3503, un- 
sexed, Mpika, Zambia, 18 January 1950, collector W. E. Poles, underparts 
as in 77340, most feathers on lower throat with conspicuous black at base, 
likewise on sides of chest, unsexed (gonads recorded as very small), but wing 
89 mm, so presumably a male. Skull fully pneumatized, eye "red", bill now 
like that of 77340. 

(c) D. B. H. found four immature males at Nchalo in 1977, showing no 
sign of a breeding dress except for odd black spots on the face and throat (in 
the first on the chin only), thus akin in this respect to the three preceding: — 
(1) 27 January, eye dull orange, bill dark horn, pale below, testes \\ mm, 
skull three- quarters pneumatized; (2) 16 February, eye brown-orange, bill 
black, slightly paler below, testes 4 mm, skull one fifth pneumatized; (3, 4) 
17, 21 February, both with eye orange-red and bill as for last: not dissected, 
but wings 85,88 mm. 

(d) Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1955: 891; 1963: 566) mention two 
xanthochroic examples, and although from outside our area there are two 
such specimens in BMNH worth mention. One is from Kilosa, Tanzania, 
2 December 1920, unsexed, the other from the Athi River, Kenya, 22 August 
1900, sexed male. Both have wing 74 mm, which is more compatible with 
females. They are a much brighter olive on the upperparts as a whole than 
in the female in breeding dress, the ashy streaking much less conspicuous. The 
underparts appear normal, the Athi specimen in off-season dress, the other with 
yellow more extensive. Neither bears any record of the colour of the soft parts, 
although both appear to have had maxilla sepia, mandible whitish horn. 

Frith (1967: 176-177) has discussed aberrations in two other ploceids, the 
Aldabran Fody Foudia eminentissima aldabrana and the Madagascar Fody F. 
madagascariensis. In these, however, it was a question of all the red areas such 
as are found in the breeding male being replaced by golden yellow, and the 
bill brown or horn colouted instead of black. None of the specimens was 
sexed certainly as a male, and four carefully examined showed no trace of any 
sexual organs. These cases are not comparable to any of those in Ploceus 
cucullatus. Our seven aberrant specimens under (b) and (c) above, seem likely 
to have been not fully adult, but with precocious signs of the breeding dress 
in variable amounts. Although not recorded previously, this may be a not 
infrequent phenomenon; but no explanation can be offered for the two speci- 
mens under (a) which are much the most anomalous and remarkable, and we 
can do no more than draw attention to them. 

93 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(3)] 

Acknowledgements : D. B. H's. contribution was assisted by a grant from the Frank M. 
Chapman Memorial Fund. C. W. B.'s visit to Bulawayo was made possible through the 
generosity of the National Museums and Monuments of Rhodesia (per M. A. Raath, 
G. Bell-Cross and M. P. Stuart Irwin). For his examination of specimens in Nairobi thanks 
are due to G. R. Cunningham van Someren, and in Tring to I. C. J. Galbraith and D. K. 

References : 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K. & Vernon, C. J. 1964. Bird breeding data for the Rhodesias 

and Nyasaland. Occ. Pap. Natn. Mus. S. Rhod. 26B: 30-105. 
Clancey, P. A. 1970. Miscellaneous taxonomic notes on African birds. XXIX. Durban Mus. 

Novit. 8(20). 
Frith, C. B. 1976. A twelve-month field study of the Aldabran Fody Foudia emlnentissima 

aldabrana. Ibis 118: 155-178. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1955. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern 

Africa. Vol. 2. London: Longmans, Green & Co. 

— 1963. Birds of the Southern Third of Africa. Vol. 2. London: Longmans. 

— 1973' Birds of West Central and Western Africa. Vol. 2. London: Longmans. 

Addresses: Mrs. D. B. Hanmer, Sucoma, Post Bag 50, Blantyre, Malawi. 
C. W. Benson, Dept. of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge. 

A third locality in Colombia for the Dusky-chested 
Flycatcher Tyrrannopsis luteiventris 

by J. V. Rem 'sen , Jr. 

Received 7 At ay iyyj 
The Dusky-chested Flycatcher Tyrannopsis luteiventris has only been recorded 
from two localities in Colombia: — upper Rio Putumayo (in Meyer de 
Schauensee 1950) and Mitu, Vaupes (Olivares 1964), and indeed is known 
from only a few other localities in the whole of South America, namely one 
or two recoids each from Ecuador, Peiu, and Venezuela and several from 
Surinam and Brasil (Blake 1961, Meyer de Schauensee 1966). Virtually 
nothing has been published concerning its natural history, and it is peihaps 
the most poorly known and rarest of the multigeneric assemblage of medium 
and large sized, yellow-bellied Tyrannids. 

On 25 June 1975 I observed two individuals of this species feeding in the 
tops of small trees about 10 m in height along the edge of a stream about 
15 m wide in seasonally flooded "varzea" forest approximately 1 km from its 
junction with the Amazon River. This stream, locally called Quebrada 
"Guacari" but probably not appearing on any published maps, is about 45 km 
northwest of Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia. A male was collected (Museum 
of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley, California No. 164046), largest testis 2 mm, 
weight 20 • 5 g, of the nominate race luteiventris. Stomach contents revealed it 
had been feeding on a hard fruit, cylindrical in shape (6x3x3 mm) and bright 
orange in colour. Both birds called persistently, giving a very nasal "chew" 

On 19 July 1975 two individuals were seen in the middle strata about 20 m 
above ground at the edge of "tierra firma" forest on the outskirts of Leticia. 
Again the nasal "chew" call was heard several times. They weie sallying from 
small, leafless branches to nearby foliage, probably for insects (no fruit 
visible). Available for direct comparison at this spot were both Myio^etetes 
granadensis and M. si mi lis, which form useful comparison with luteiventris in 
appearance, body proportions and overall behaviour. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977'- 97(3)1 94 

On 23 July 1975 two more luteiventris were studied at very close range 
(7 m) for ten minutes in a small agricultural clearing at the edge of "tierra 
firma" forest near Pobre Alegre, a small village on the lower Rio Javari, 
Loreto, Peru. They frequently gave the nasal "chew" call from the tops of 
banana plants about 3 m above the ground, and showed little fear of humans. 
No foraging was observed; these birds spent the entire time calling back and 
forth to one another. 

Although direct evidence for breeding was lacking, that all three observa- 
tions were of birds which definitely appeared paired implies residency in the 
immediate vicinity rather than migrant status. All three observations were 
from forest edge situations, and if indeed this species proves to prefer forest 
edge habitats, luteiventris will be one of the few examples of a truly rare species 
to do so, since most rare or locally distributed birds in the Amazon Basin 
inhabit forest interiors. 

T. luteiventris perches in rather exposed locations, has a distinctive and 
persistent call, and is readily distinguished in the field from the similar 
Myio^e fetes species. Thus with only three records in nine months of daily field 
work, this species is certainly rare near Leticia and would not be likely to be 
detected on brief collecting trips. It remains to be seen whether this species' 
distribution is truly discontinuous or whether the gaps will be filled by more 
intensive field work. 

Acknowledgements : My research in the Leticia area was supported by a National Science 
Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant and by the Frank M. Chapman Fund of the 
American Museum of Natural History. I thank Emmet R. Blake, Ned K. Johnson, Frank 
A. Pitelka, and Melvin A. Traylor for useful comments on this note. 
References : 

Blake, E. R. 1961. Variation in Myio^etetes luteiventris. Fieldiana (Zoology) 44(9): 63-66. 
Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1950. The birds of the Republic of Colombia (Dendrocolaptidae — 

Tyrannidae). Caldasia 5(24): 645-871. 
— 1966. The Species of Birds of South America with their Distribution. Narberth, 

Pennsylvania: Livingston. 
Olivares, A. 1964. Adiciones a las aves de Vaupes, II. Caldasia 9(42): 1 51-184. 

Address: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, California 
94720, U.S.A. 

Identity of pelicans on St. Joseph Atoll, Amirantes 
by D. R. Stoddart 

Received 14 May 1977 
J. S. Gardiner reported the presence of a colony of pelicans during a visit to 
St. Joseph Atoll (5 25' S, 5 3 20' E), Amirante Islands, western Indian Ocean 
on io-ii October 1905. Gadow & Gardiner (1907: no) named the species 
as the Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, and though the colony has not 
been seen since, and was indeed extinct at the time of a visit by D. Vesey- 
FitzGerald in the 1930s, this species has been recorded as present on the basis 
of Gardiner's identification by Betts (1940: 504) and Watson et al. (1963: 

Gardiner & Cooper (1907: 154) state: "St. Joseph is covered with tall 
coconuts, some of which were weighted down and killed by the large nests 
of Pelecanus crispus, of which there was a numerous colony. How far this bird 
is a wanderer we do not know". According to Gadow & Gardiner (1907: 
no) "these large birds were found breeding in a colony in the coconut and 

95 [Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97 ( 3 )] 

other large trees of the eastern island of S. Joseph Atoll, Amirante Group. 
Young birds were seen in October 1905". P. crispns is, however, a ground- 
nesting species, and the nearest known breeding locality is at the head of the 
Persian Gulf, where it formerly bred (Vaurie 1965 : 43). In terms of range a 
moie probable candidate is the White Pelican P. onocrotalus, but this too is a 
ground-nesting species. 

The identity of the St. Joseph pelican can, however, be resolved, as W. L. 
Abbott collected a specimen, hitherto overlooked, on 29 August 1892. 
Ridgway (1895 : $ 16) names it as a Pink-backed Pelican P. rufescens, and refers 
to "a small colony — perhaps one hundred individuals . . . the only colony of 
pelicans in these seas". Dr. G. E. Watson has kindly located Abbott's speci- 
men in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, and states that 
it is definitely rufescens in juvenile plumage, with the back of neck, mantle, 
and upper surface of wings dark greyish brown, and the lower back and rump 
pure white. Measurements are: wing 463 mm, oilmen from skull 315 mm, 
exposed oilmen 295 mm. 

There is a record of this species in the Dahlak Archipelago, Red Sea 
(Mackworth-Praed & Grant 1952: 34), and several from Madagascar (Milon 
et al. 1973 : 31), including one of a colony at Antsalova (18 40' S, 44 37' E), 
but otherwise no records outside mainland Africa: its occurence on an 
oceanic island is thus quite exceptional. The only other report of pelicans in 
the western Indian Ocean is the unconfirmed hearsay report of two indi- 
viduals of P. crispus on Bijoutier, Alphonse, by Loustau-Lalanne (1963 : 23). 
Watson et al. (1963 : 180) suggest that pelicans were introduced to St. Joseph 
but this seems very unlikely. The colony was probably present as early as 
1882, when H.M.S. Alert charted a Pelican Island on the atoll, but apart from 
the observations quoted above and its presumed extinction between 1905 
and the 1930s, there are no further records of the colony. 

Acknowledgement: I am grateful to Dr. G. E. Watson for kindly locating and reporting 
on Abbott's specimen, and to C. W. Benson for much advice and for reading a draft of this 

References : 

Betts, F. N. 1940. The birds of the Seychelles. II. The sea-birds — more particularly those of 

Aride Island. Ibis (14) 4: 489-504. 
Gadow, H. & Gardiner, J. S. 1907. Report on Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to Indian 

Ocean 1905, 1. Aves, with some notes on the distribution of the land-birds of the 

Seychelles. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. (2) 12: 103- no. 
Gardiner, J. S. & Cooper, C. F. 1907. Report on Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to Indian 

Ocean 1905, 1. Description of the expedition. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. (2) 12: rn-175. 
Loustau-Lalanne, P. 1963. Sea and shore birds of the Seychelles. Occ. Publ. Seychelles Soc. 2: 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern 

Africa. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 
Milon, P., Petter, J.-J. & Randrianasolo, G. ^73. Oiseaux. Faune Madagascar 35. Tanana- 
rive: ORSTOM, Paris: CNRS. 
Ridgway, R. 1 895 . On birds collected by Doctor W. L. Abbott on the Seychelles, Amirantes, 

Gloriosa, Assumption, Aldabra and adjacent islands, with notes on habits, etc., by the 

collector. Proc. U.S. nat. Mus. 18: 509-546. 
Vaurie, C. 1965. The Birds of the Palearctic Fauna. Non-Passer 'formes. London: H. F. and 

G. Witherby Ltd. 
Watson, G. E., Zusi, R. L. & Storer, R. E. 1963. Preliminary Field Guide to the Birds of the 

Indian Ocean. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. 

Address: Department of Geography, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN, England. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)1 96 

Weights of West African Savanna birds 

by P. W. Greig-Smith & N. C. Davidson 

Received 14 May 19 jj 

During studies of the behaviour and ecology of birds in Mole National Park, 
Ghana, in 1974 and 1975, we weighed 11 87 bkds of in species, including 
several species for which there is little other such information (see e.g. Fry 
1970, Karr 1976). 

Birds were mist-netted in a variety of habitats in the vicinity of Samole 
(9 15' N, i° 51' W) 8 July- 27 Aug 1974, 7 July- 2 Sep 1975, and 2 Nov - 
2 Dec 1975. Weights were measured with Pesola spring balances, and are 
accutate to o • 1 g (weights less than 40 g), to o • 5 g (40 - 80 g), or to i-og 
(over 80 g). The bird communities of the area are described by Greig-Smith 


W. G. Harvey et al. (in Fry 1970) collected weights from Mole National 
Park in the wet season of 1968, and their samples agree closely with our 
means and ranges for most species represented by large samples (e.g. Merops 
bulocki, Pycnonotus barbatus, Serinus mo^ambicus, Estrilda melpoda). This sug- 
gests that the samples are truly representative, and where they difTet fiom 
other published weights of the same species there may be some biological 
significance. We have commented on some such cases below, and where 
possible we have compared male against female, and wet against dry season 
weights, using Student's t-test. These weights will be used in an investi- 
gation of ecological segregation between savanna species (Greig-Smith & 
Davidson, in prep.). 

In the following list, each species name is followed in brackets by the 
number of birds weighed in each season. Wet season weights (July - Sep) 
are given separately from early dry season weights (Nov - Dec), which are 
prefixed by D. For most samples of 5 birds or fewer, weights are listed 
individually; for larger samples, the mean i one standard deviation is 
followed in brackets by the range. Where sexes and ages were distinguished 
on plumage characteristics, they have been listed separately. The sequence 
and nomenclature of species follow White (1960-65). 

Bntorides striatus (1) : 193 

Porphyrio alleni (1) : 140 

Streptopelia senegalensis (1) : 98 

Turtur afer(S): 66-5 ± 5 -7 (57-5 - 74-0); D(2) : 62-0, 62-5 

Turtur abyssinicus (10) : 59 • o ± 3 * 9 (5 5 * o - 66 • 5) ; D(2) : 55-0, 57*0 

Treron aus trails (1) : 239 

Treron waalia (1) : 268 

C lama tor levaillanti (1) : 122 

Chrysococcyx klaas (2): <$<$ 23-0, 23*0 

Chrysococcyx caprius (2): <$<$ 26-2, 28-6 

Glaucidium per latum (1): juv 61 -o 

Caprimulgus climacurus (4): <J 43 • 5, $$ 36-3, 39-0, unsexed 38-5 

Ceryle maxima (1): 282; D(i): 305 

Alcedo quadribrachys (7): 35-6 ± 2-3 (33-0- 39-5); D(2) : 36-5, 37-0. Britton & Dow- 
sett (1969) list 6 birds from Zambia with a mean weight of 31 -6. 

Alcedo crista ta (4) : 1 1 • o, 1 1 - 5 , 11-7, 1 2 • 5 ; D(i) : 13-5. The weights of 9 birds from Mole 
(Fry 1970) are slightly higher (mean = 12-9), and birds in East and Southern Africa 
are much heavier — means =15-8 (Britton 1970), 15-5 (Britton & Dowsett 1969), 
14-9 (one bird, Liversidge 1968). 

97 [Ball. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 

Ceyx picta (33): 13 adults, n -4 ± i*i (9*6 - 13*5), 10 juvs, io-6 ± o-6 (9-6 - 11 -2), 10 
imaged, io-6 ±0-8 (9-0 - 11-7); D(5): 11 "4 ± 0-7 (10-4 - 12-4). The difference 
between wet season adults and juveniles is close to significant (P approx. equal to 
0-05), though both are lighter than wet season birds in Zambia (mean = 14-3, Britton 
& Dowsett 1969). 

Halcyon senegalensis (2) : 54-0, 55-4 

Halcyon malimbica (11): 90-8 ± 8-o (79 - 105); D(i): 103 

Halcyon chelicuti (2): 32-5, 35 -o. Dean (1974) quotes weights of 41 and 43 g for H. chelicuti 
in Angola. 

Halcyon leucocephala D(i): 44-0 

Merops pusillus (2) : 1 1 • 6, 13-2 

Merops bulocki (52): 22-6 ± 1-5 (19-0 - 26-4); D(4): 19-9, 21 -6, 23 -o, 23 • 5 

Merops hirundineus (11): 9 ads 21-8 ± 1-5 (19-5 -23-6), juvs 19-5, 20-5 

Phoeniculus purpureus (7): <$£ 76-0, 90, 96, 99, $$ 56-0, 63-5, juv 59*5 

P hoe ni cuius at er rim us (1): o* 22*8 

Lybius dubius (16): 8 <3<3 92-0 ± 8-5 (81 - 1 05), 5 $$ 87-6 ± 6-9 (80 - 98), unsexed 94, 95, 
99 ; D(2) : 0*6* 85, 85. Males vs females, P > o • 30 

Pogoniulus chrysoconus (2): 9-6, 9-8. The mean of 5 Zambian birds (Britton & Dowsett 1969) 
is 12-7 

Indicator indictaor (3): ads 54-0, 50-5, juv 37-0 

Indicator minor (2): 26-5, 32-0 

Campethera punctuligera (2): $ 67, ? 71 

Campethera abingoni D(i): 55-0 

Mesopicos goertae (5): Jo* 50-0, 52-0, $ 45 • 5, unsexed, 49-0, 52-5 

Psalidoprocne obscura (1) : 1 o • o 

Prionops plumata (18): 12 ads, 43 -o ± 3*o (40*0 — 48 • 5), 6 juvs 39*8 + 2-0 (37-0 - 42-0). 
Adults vs juveniles, P <o-o5. Britton & Dowsett (1969) found a mean of 32-4 ± 1-9 
for 21 Zambian birds. See Greig-Smith (1976a) for possible sex differences of the Mole 

Nilaus ajer (3): $ 19*9, unsexed 17-3, 18-9 

Dryoscopus gambensis (5) : Jo* 3 x ' 1 , 36-0, 39 • o, $£ 31*0, 34 • 4 ; D(i) : $ 35-5 

Tchagra minuta (2) : J 30-0, $ 32-2 

Tchagra senega la (1) : 62-0 

Laniarius barbarus (n): 47 - i ± 3'4(43*o- 52-0); D(i): 46-0 

Malaconotus sulfureopectus (6): Jet 3 1 '°, 34*o, $$ 28-0, 29-5, unsexed, 29-6, 30-0 

Corvinella corvina (1) : juv 66 • 5 

Dicrurus ludwigii (3): 24-5, 27-0, 28-5. Karr (1976) gives a weight of 46 g for a bird in 

Dicrurus adsimilis (1) : 34-5 

Campephaga phoenicea (6): ad J 28-1, immj 27-5, $$ 25-5, 27-5,29-0, 30-0; D (1): $ 35-5 

Pycnonotus barbatus (44) : 35-9 i 1-9 (30 • 8 - 42 • 4) ; D( 1) : 40-5 

Chlorocichla flavicollis (2): 45-5, 55-0 

Cercomela familiaris (2) : 15-1, 15-6 

Cossypba albicapilla (9): 59-2 ± 4-1 (53 -o - 65 -o); D(2): 53-0,65-0 

Cossypha niveicapilla (14): 33-8 ± 3-1 (27-3-38-5); D(2) : 31-5, 39-5 

Turdus pelios (11): 64-9 ± 3 -2 (57-0 - 69-5); D(5): 68-8 ± 2-6 (65-0-71-5). Dry season 
vs wet season, P <o-o5. Day (1975) found a mean of 78-6 ± 1 '2 for 17 birds in South 

Turdoides plebejus (4): 61 -o, 66-5, 67-0, 71-0 

Turdoides reimvardii (4): 78-0, 79-0, 86, 91 ; D(2): 75 -o, 83 

Spbenoaeacus mentalis (9): 33-5 ± 1-8(30-6-37-0) 

Phylloscopus trochilus D(2) : 7-4, 7-9 

Cisticola erythrops (9): $$ 12-1, 13-0, 14-1, unsexed 12-7, 13-0, 13-0, 13-2, 15-6, juv 12-7 

Cisticola lateralis (5): 17-0, 18-0, 18-3, 19-0, 19-6. The mean for 9 Mole birds in Fry (1970) 
is i6-4g. 

Cisticola galactotes (6): JJ 17*5, 19*2, ? 18-5, unsexed 16-6, 17-1, 17-1. The mean of 4 
Mole birds (Fry 1970) is 16-2 g. 

Cisticola ruficeps (1) : 9-8 

Cisticola rufafbrachyptera (4) : 7-4, 7 • 5 , 7-9, 9 • 1 ; D(3) : 6 • o, 6 • 5 , 6-9 

Prinia erythroptera (3): 5-6, 8-3, 14-5 

Prinia subflava (5): 7-5, 7-5, 7-6, 7-7, 8-3. The mean of 6 Zambian birds (Britton & Dow- 
sett 1970) is 10-4 g. 

[Bull. B.O.C. i 977 : 97(3)] 98 

Hypergerus atriceps (7) : 28 • 9 ± 2 • 2 (26 • 4 - 3 1 • 5) 

Camaroptera brachyura (18): 16 ads 10-5 ± 1 • o (8 • 9 - 1 3 • o), juvs, 8-5, 10*5 

Eremomela pusilla (26): 6-i ± 0-2 (5 -0-8*4); D(5) : 6-i ± 0*2 (6-0-6-4) 

Sylvietta brachyura (6) : 8 • o ± o • 4 (7 • 4 - 8 • 4) 

Muscicapa aquatic a (2) : 10-2, 1 1 • o 

Myioparus plumbeus (4): 11-5, 12-0, 12-3, 13-0 

Ficedula hypoleuca D(2) : $$ 1 1 • 6, 1 1 • 8 

Melaenornis edolioides (9): 30-8 ± 1 "7 (28-1 - 33-9). Karr (1976) lists a bird from Ghana 

weighing 59-5 g. 
Bradornis pallidus (6): ads 19-7, 20-3, 22-5, 23-5, juvs 18-5, 22-0 
Hyliota flavigaster (2): $ 12-2, juv 11-4 
Batis senegalensis (15): 6 0*6* 9*4 ± o-6 (8-6 - 10-2), 8 $$ 9-3 i 1 *i (8-o - 11 -4), unsexed 

9-0; D(3): (£9-3,5$ 9-0, 9-0. Males w females, P> 0-50. Fry (1970) found a significant 

difference, males 8 % heavier than females. 
Platysteira cyanea (1 3) : 4 6*6* 14 ' 3 ± o • 6 (1 3 • 5 - 1 5 • o), 8 $$ 1 3 • o ± 0-9(11-6-14-5), juv 

11-7; D(i) : <$ 15-0. Males w females, P <o • 05 . 
Trocbocerus longicauda (6) : ads 8-2, 8-5, 8-8, 9-3, 9-5, fledgling 6 • 7, D(i) : 6 • 3 
Terpsiphone viridis (10): 0*6* ii"3, 15*0, 16-0,$°. 14*5, i4'7, i4'9> 15 *6, unsexed 12-3, 14*5, 

juv 13-0; D(7): unsexed 14-4 ± 1 -5 (12-8 - 17-0). Wet season adults (mean = 14-3 ± 

1 • 3) w dry season adults, P> o • 50. 
Parus leucomelas (10) : 16 • 1 ± 1 *2 (13 • 1 - 17 • 5) 
Nectarinia verticalis (1): J 13-2; D(i): 6* n-8 
Nectarinia senegalensis (26): 16 c?cJ 10-3 ± o-6 (9-6 - 11 -9), 7 $$ 8-4 i 0-9 (6-8 - 9-8), juvs 

9-4, io-i, 10-2. Males are 23% heavier than females (P<o-oi); Fry (1970) found a 

17% difference. 
Nectarinia cuprea (10): 5 $$ 7-2 ± 0-3 (6-8 -7-6), 5 °.°. 6- 1 ± o- 5 (5 -5 -6-8); D(i):$ 6-6. 

Males are 18% heavier than females (P <o-oi); Fry (1970) found a 13 % difference. 
Nectarinia pulchella (19): 12 $$ 7-1 ± i'i (5'6 - 10-2), 7 $$ 6-6 ± 0-5 (5-6 - 7-3). The 

male vs female difference (8%) is not significant (P> 0-20); Fry (1970) found a 12% 

Zoster ops senegalensis (2) : 8 • 1, 8 • 7 
Emberi^a cabanisi (3): 6* 24-0, $$ 24-1, 25-5 
Emberi^a forbesi (4) : 14-5, 14*9, 16-0, 16-0 
Ember i^a tahapisi D(i) : 12-8 
Serinus mo^ambicus (81): 40^ io-8 ± 1-7 (9-5 - 12-5), 31 $°. 10-4 ± 1*0(9-1 - 13-5), 

7 unsexed 10 • 5 ± o • 6 (9 • 9 - 1 1 • 7), juv 9 • 6. Males &\r females, P <o • 05 . 
Ploceus luteolus (7): $ 13-0, $$ 11 -2, 12-5, 12-8, 13-5, unsexed 12-5, 12-9 
Ploceus heuglini (2) : 23 • o, 26 • 4 
Ploceus cucullatus (5) : $°. 29 • 5 , 30 • 5 , 31-0, 32-3,32-7. The mean of 1 5 wet season females in 

Nigeria (Fry 1970) is 35-7 ± 4-3. 
Ploceus nigricollis (18): 7 $$ 24-6 ± 0-9 (23-0 - 25-8), 8 $°- 23-7 ± 3-2 (21-0 - 31-2), 

unsexed 23-2, juvs 23-5,23-9. Males vs females, P> o • 40. 
Malimbus rubriceps (1) : <J 22 • o 

Quelea erythrops (\o):$& 1 7 • 7, 21 • 7, 8 $?/imm 6*6* 1 6 • o ± 2-5(13-9-21-8) 
Euplectes afra (132): 81 &£ 14-7 ± 2-7 (11-2 - 20-5), 44$$ /imm^ 13-9 ± i-o (12-2 - 

16-2), 7 unsexed 15-1 ± 0-9 (13 -3-16-1). Males w females/immature males, P <o-ooi 
Euplectes hordeacea (2) : <£<£ 21-4, 22-2 

Euplectes macrourus (8): <? 21 • 3, 6 $$/imm 6*6* I7'4 ± 1 'O (16-0 - 18 • 8), juv 14-9 
Euplectes orix (50): 30^6* 17*0 ± i-o (14-3 - 18-9), 20 $$/imra^ 15-5 ± 2-2 (11-4 - 

21-2). Males vs females/immature males, P <o-ooi. For a discussion of size differences 

in all four Euplectes species, see Davidson (in prep.). 
Plocepasser superciliosus (3): 32-0, 35-3, 36-0 
Passer griseus (1) : 25-0 
Petronia dent at a D(2) : 15*5, 16-7 

Vidua macroura (7)16* 12-8, 6$$ 12-7 ± 0-9 (n-6- 13-8) 
Vidua chalybeata(s): $$ 11-7, 12-4, 12-5,$$ 10-7, 11 -8; D(i):°. 12-5 
Nesocharis capistrata (2): 10-4, 10-5 
Pytilia hypogrammica (1) : 6* 14 ' 3 

Pytilia phoenicoptera (3) : 1 3 • 9, 1 4 • o, 1 4 • 9 ; D(2) : 13-7, 1 6 • 1 
Estrilda melpoda (43) : 7-6 ± 0*7 (6-5 -9*6) 
Estrilda caerulescens (10): 8-4 ± °"7(6'7-9*i) 

99 [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 

Estrilda bengala (28) : 14 <$<$ 9 • 3 ± o • 7 (8 • 3 - 10 • 5), 14 ?$ 9 • 6 ± o • 6 (8 • 6 - 1 1 • o). Males vs 
females, P> 0-20. Britton & Dowsett (1969) list means of 10 • 5 and 10-7 for males and 
females in Zambia. 

Estrilda larvata (7): $<$ 9-0, 9-5, 9-7, 10-5, $°. 8-8, 9-3, unsexed 10 -6 

Lagonosticta rufopicta (11): 9-1 ± I * I (8 • o - 1 1 • 6) ; D(2) : 8-3,9-0 

Lagonosticta senegala (9): 5 <26* 7*9 ± °*5 (7' 6 - 8 "5)> 4?? 7' 8 ± °'9 (l' 2 ~ 8 ' 2 ); ^>( 1 )'- 
cJ 7-8. Males vs females, P> 0-50. 

Lagonosticta rara (5) : <$ 9 • 7, ?$ 9-2, 10-4, unsexed 10-3, 11-3; D(i) : $ 9 • 1 

Lonchura cucullata (4): 8-o, 8-7, 8-9, 9-0; D(2): 8-9, 9-7 

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the Ghana Game & Wildlife Department for per- 
mission to study birds at Mole, and for the facilities provided. J. Amponsah, E. D. Agyem- 
fra, Duku-Frimpong, and members of the 1st and 2nd Aberdeen University Ghana expe- 
ditions helped with netting at various times. Finance was provided by grants from the 
Royal Society, Aberdeen University, the Carnegie Trust, the Explorers Club, the Drapers 
Company, and others. 
References : 
Britton, P. L. 1970. Some non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 142-144, 152-154. 
Britton, P. L. & Dowsett, R. J. 1969. More bird weights from Zambia. Ostrich 40: 55-60. 
Day, D. H. 1975. Some bird weights for the Transvaal and Botswana. Ostrich 46: 192-194. 
Dean, W. R. J. 1974. Bird weights from Angola. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 170-172. 
Fry, C. H. 1970. Migration, moult and weights of birds in northern Guinea savanna in 

Nigeria and Ghana. Ostrich suppl. 8: 239-263. 
Greig-Smith, P. W. 1976a. Observations on the social behaviour of Helmet-Shrikes. Bull. 

Nigerian Orn. Soc. 41: 25-30. 
— 1 976b. The composition and habitat preferences of the avifauna of Mole National Park, 

Ghana. Bull. Nigerian Orn. Soc. 42 : 49-66. 
Karr, J. R. 1976. Weights of African birds. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 92-96. 
Liversidge, R. 1968. Bird weights. Ostrich 39: 223-227. 
White, C. M. N. 1960-65. A Revised Check-list of African Birds. 5 vols. Government 

Printer, Lusaka. 

Addresses: P. W. Greig-Smith, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton; N. C. Davidson, Department of Zoology, University of Durham, South Road, 
Durham, England. 

Notes on some non-passerine birds of Wallacea 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 26 May 1977 
The five notes which follow arise from the preparation of an annotated 
check-list of the non-passerine birds of Wallacea. They indicate the need for 
modern field work in these Indonesian islands before some of the questions 
discussed can be finally resolved. The inventory of species occurring in 
Wallacea is no doubt still incomplete, and the status of many already known 
to occur is still not clear : the birds of many smaller islands are known only from 
collections made over half a century ago, unaccompanied by any field data. 

distribution of Dendrocjgna arcuata 

This duck is reliably recorded in Wallacea from Celebes and in the Lesser 
Sundas from Sumba, Roti and Timor. Stresemann (1941: 17) incorrectly 
stated that it is absent from the Lesser Sundas. Peters (193 1 : 153) gave 
Moluccas as part of its range, not mentioning any specific island. Mayr 
(1945 : 3), in a taxonomic revision, cited Ambon as the only locality in 
Moluccas, and Van Bemmel (1948: 396) included the species in his list of 
Moluccan birds solely on the authority of Mayr's reference to Ambon. 

I have failed to find any evidence that this duck occurs in Moluccas. There 
are no specimens from these islands in the British Museum (Natural History), 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 100 

the American Museum of Natural History, or the Leiden Museum, and I am 
grateful to Dr. G. F. Mees for drawing attention to the probable source of 
the error. In 1863 and 1864 specimens of D. guttata were collected at Ambon 
and sent to Leiden; but prior to D. guttata being described as a distinct 
species, Finsch in 1865 {Neu- Guinea: 183) had mentioned birds from Ambon 
under the name D. arcuata. It is thus evident that Moluccas and Ambon must 
be deleted from the known range of D. arcuata. One cannot now follow 
Stresemann (1941: 17) in the suggestion that it colonised Celebes from 
Moluccas, unless it can be shown that a former Moluccan population has 

Berlioz & Pfeffer (1966: 909) listed a downy young from Ambon as 
Dendrocygna ?sp. saying that both D. arcuata and D. guttata occur there. On 
present knowledge the specimen should be D. guttata. 

Three species of Dendrocygna have been recorded from Wallacea, but only 
a single species occuis on any given island except for Celebes where D. 
arcuata and D. guttata both occur, though whether sympatrically is not 
known. Heinrich did not find them together, though Raven in 191 6 
collected both species on different dates at Likoepang in north Celebes. 

the status of Accipiter fasciatus buruensis 

The Brown Goshawk of Australia is represented in the Lesser Sunda 
Islands and Djampea to Tukang Besi Islands by three well marked sub- 
species, and two others less well differentiated. They are not uncommon in 
open woodland and cultivation. In contrast only five specimens are known 
from Buru, all females and only one certainly an adult. Stresemann described 
them as buruensis , stating that they differed from the nominate Australian 
form only in smaller size. Condon & Amadon (1954: 215-216) recognised 
north Australian birds as A. f. didimus (Mathews), and said of the type of 
buruensis "Were Buru adjacent to north Australia we should not hesitate to 
list buruensis as a synonym of didimus". Greenway (1973: 265) commented 
on this "The occurrence of subspecies on islands between northern Australia 
and Buru does not appear to be strong enough ground for retention of a 
subspecies without morphological differences". I agree with Greenway and 
propose to treat buruensis as a synonym of didimus until more adequate 
material reveals some distinguishing characters. It is possible that Australian 
birds colonised Buru comparatively recently and have not yet developed any 
distinctive characters. This parallels the situation at Rennell and Bellona, 
Solomon Islands where the birds are identical with nominate fasciatus. The 
presence of distinct wallacii and hellmayri in the Lesser Sundas east to Sei- 
matta and Damar poses no objection if Buru was colonised across the sea 
directly from north Australia. 

It should, however, be noted that the apparent rarity of the species in Buru 
is curious, unless the island, being wetter and more forested than the Lesser 
Sundas, is ecologically unsuited to the species, which can then only exist as a 
small population. On the other hand, it is just possible that no breeding 
population at all exists in Buru and that the few specimens obtained there are 
sporadic vagrants from north Australia. The fact that all were females, and 
perhaps only one an adult, may lend some support to this view. On the other 
hand, the lack of didimus as a vagrant on intervening islands would be 
strange if this were true. Field work in Buru is required to establish the true 
status of the species there. 

ioi [Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 

variation in Ptilitiopus bemsteinii 

This fruit dove was discussed by Goodwin (1967: 342) under the more 
familiar name P.formosus, but Mees (1973 : 120) has since pointed out that it 
should be known as P. bemsteinii. It is confined to the north Moluccas: 
Toxopeus' sight record in Buru (Siebers 1930) of a bird which appeared to be 
of this species cannot be firmly accepted. 

Jany (1955 : 106) separated the population of this fruit dove in Obi from 
birds of Bat j an, Halmahera and Ternate (as Megaloprepia for mo s a micro), 
stating that it is smaller. Unfortunately he only gave wing measurements of 
birds from Obi, and none from other localities to demonstrate the difference. 
I am very grateful to Mrs. M. LeCroy for the following wing measurements 
of the series in the American Museum of Natural History: — 

Batjan (17) males 146-ijimm females 142-150 mm. 

Halmaheia(7) „ 144-152 „ i39> H4 

Ternate (2) „ 144 „ 146 

Obi (3) „ 137, 139 „ 132 

Jany's measurements from Obi were for males 130-138 mm, females 128- 
137 mm. It is thus clear that the birds from that locality are distinctly smaller 
and warrant separation as P. b. micrus (Jany). 
the status of Cacomantis variolosus tymbonomus 

Cuculus tymbonomus Muller was named in 1843, based on a specimen from 
Timor. Peters (1940: 25) listed it as a synonym of nominate Australian 
Cacomantis variolosus, adding in a footnote that Dr. Junge had informed him 
that tymbonomus was an earlier name for dumetorum if the latter were considered 
a distinct north Australian form. Peters did not mention that Junge had 
already (1937 : 179-180) published his views about the identity of tymbonomus. 

Mayr (1944: 149) reported a series of seven specimens of C. variolosus 
collected in Timor by Stein. They differed from Australian birds in having 
narrow rufous edges to the greyish brown back, scapulars and lesser upper 
wing coverts, and in some other respects. No dates were given, but from 
Stein's itinerary they must gave been collected in January, February and 
April. Mayr considered that these birds represented a distinct endemic form, 
resident in Timor, and adopted tymbonomus as their name. 

It is difficult to reconcile Junge's views on tymbonomus with those adopted 
by Mayr. Dr. G. F. Mees has kindly re-examined the type of tymbonomus in the 
Leiden musuem. He informs me that allowing for its age, it agrees well with 
north Australian birds and has none of the rufous dorsal markings which 
Mayr found in Timor birds. It is labelled 1829 without further date, and 
could in fact have been a migrant from Australia, since nominate variolosus 
winters in Wallacea as far as the north Moluccas and Sula Islands. If there is a 
distinct resident form in Timor, it is evident that tymbonomus is not on present 
evidence available as its name. 

Cacomantis variolosus was last revised by Hartert (1925). A new revision of 
the species is badly needed, and this should take account of plumage sequen- 
ces, since Parkes (i960: 332-335) found that some C. variolosus moult from 
the barred juvenile plumage to a second barred plumage. It would also be 
desirable to have confirmation that the species in fact breeds in Timor. In the 
meantime I leave the Timor birds obtained by Stein without a subspecific name. 


The Talaud Islands including the adjacent Nenusa group are small, non- 
volcanic isolated oceanic islands, and are the northernmost land area 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 102 

included in Wallacea. Only about 38 species of birds recorded there are likely 
also to breed. No experienced ornithologist has visited the islands: most 
knowledge of their birds comes from collections made by Indonesian hunters 
working for C. W. Cursham or J. Waterstradt last century. Hartert (1898: 
88-91) reported on a collection sent by Waterstradt. He noted that the col- 
lection included two examples of Oriolus chinensis ceiebensis which were 
probably not obtained at Talaud but on the way to or from Talaud (a strongly 
marked endemic subspecies in fact occurs at Talaud). 

Three other species listed from Talaud also seem suspect: — 

Trichoglossus ornatus: one specimen of this Celebes allospecies of T. haema- 
todus (Hartert 1898). Peters (1937: 148) and Cain (1955: 432-479) have 
overlooked or ignored this record. The species is not reported from the 
islands between Talaud and Celebes so that the presence in Talaud of a bird 
identical with that of Celebes is peculiar. It is also odd that Cursham's 
collectors failed to obtain this conspicuous lory. 

Euros topodus macrotis macropterus : one specimen identical with Celebes 
specimens. The nominate form occurs in the Philippines, but there are no 
other records from the intervening small islands. This large nightjar is a 
common lowland species in Celebes, but it has never been recorded from any 
small oceanic island. 

Picoides temminckii: a pair identical with Celebes birds, where this small 
woodpecker is endemic. It has not been reported from islands close to 
Celebes such as Muna, Butung or Banggai nor from Siau or Sangihe, and it 
would appear to be a species unable to make over-water colonisations, so that 
its presence, undifferentiated, at Talaud seems unlikely. In Celebes it is a 
common species in any timbeied area, even an urban one. 

These doubtful records underline the need for modem investigation of the 
birds of many paits of Wallacea. Although one cannot categorically prove 
that the specimens came from Celebes (like the Oriolus), a strong suspicion 
must remain that they did so, at least until the converse is proved by new 
records from Talaud. 

References : 

Berlioz, J. & Pfeffer, P. 1965 (1966). Etude d'une collection d'oiseaux d'Amboine (lies 

Moluques). Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris Ser. 2. 37: 907-915. 
Cain, A. J. 1955. A revision of Trichoglossus haematodus and of the Australian Platycercine 

parrots. Ibis 97: 432-479. 
Condon, H. T. & Amadon, D. 1954. Taxonomic notes on Australian hawks. Reed. S. 

Austr. Mus. 11: 189-246. 
Goodwin, D. 1967. Pigeons and Doves of the World. London : Trustees of the British Museum 

(Natural History). 
Greenway, J. C. 1973. Type specimens of birds in the American Museum of Natural 

History. Part i.BulL Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 150: 207-346. 
Hartert, E. 1898. List of a collection of birds from the island of Lirung or Salibabu, the 

largest of the Talaut group. Novit. Zool. 5 : 89-91. 

— 1925. Revision of the genus Cacomantis Mull. Novit. Zool. 32:1 64-1 74. 

Jany, E. 1955. Neue Vogel-Formen von den Nord-Molukken. /. Orn. 96: 102-106. 
Junge, G. C. A. 1937. The birds of south New Guinea. Part 1. Non-Passeres. Nova Guinea 

(n.s.) 1: 125-187 
Mayr, E. 1944. The birds of Timor and Sumba. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 83: 123-194. 

— 1 945 . Birds collected during the Whitney South Seas expedition 5 5 . Notes on the birds 
of northern Melanesia 1 . Amer. Mus. Novit. No. 1 294. 

Mees, G. F. 1973. Once more: the identity and authorship of Treron griseicauda. Bull. Brit. 

Orn. CI. 93: 1 1 9-1 20. 
Parkes, K. C. i960. Notes on some non-passerine birds from the Philippines. Ann. Carneg. 

Mus. 35: 331-340. 

io 3 [Bull. B.O.C. i 97 7 : 97(3)] 

Peters, J. L. 1931, 1937, 1940. Check List of Birds of the World. Vols. 1, 3,4. Harvard Univ. 

Siebers, H. C. 1930. Fauna Buruana: Aves. Trenbia 7 (Suppl.): 179. 
Stresemann, E. 1941; Die Vogel von Celebes./. Orn. 89: 1-102. 
Van Bemmel, A. C. V. 1948. A faunal list of the birds of the Moluccan Islands. Trenbia 19: 

Address: 2 Belvedere Court, Kingsway, Ansdell, Lytham-St. Annes, Lancashire, England. 

First record of the Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus 

from Taiwan 

by S. R. Severinghaus 

Received 21 March 1977 
On 28 September 1967, a female Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus was trap- 
ped 250 m a.s.l. in the hills east of the town of Heng Chun, Pingtung Hsien 
(22 00' N, 120 45' E) at the southern tip of Taiwan (Formosa). This was 
the first, and remains the only, record to date of the Ashy Drongo from 
Taiwan, and is the basis for including Taiwan within its range in King et al. 

( I 975). 

The specimen is deposited in the bird collection of the Environmental 
Research Centre at Tunghai University (Taichung, Taiwan, ROC). Measure- 
ments (in mm) were recorded as follows: wing, 135 ; tail, 124; culmen, 23-4; 
gape, 28-9; tarsal length, 18 -6; tarsal diameter, 2-5; total length, 239; 
weight, 34-4 g. 

The bird was uniform grey except for a paler silver-grey facial patch (lores, 
ear coverts and narrow border above and below eyes), a narrow black 
forehead, and blackish primaries. Bill, legs, feet and toes were black. The iiis 
was rich dark brown. 

Although the races of the Ashy Drongo are difficult to differentiate, the 
specimen in question almost certainly belongs to D. I. salangensis: the light 
facial patch was a silver-grey, not white, and extended only slightly around 
and behind the eye to include the ear coverts. This agrees with the description 
of salangensis in Vaurie (1949). It is distinct from D. I. leucogenis in which the 
facial patch is white and extends furthei backward to the sides of the neck. 
The Taiwan specimen closely resembles the specimens of salangensis in the 
American Museum of Natural History. Both it and the museum specimens 
have darker plumage, including the facial patch, than the specimens of 
leucogenis in the museum. 

Along coastal mainland China, salangensis usually breeds south of the 
Kwangtung-Fukien border, while leucogenis breeds north of that border 
(Vaurie 1949). Their breeding ranges meet, therefore, directly across the 
Formosa Straits from central Taiwan. Both subspecies migrate southwest 
across the continent to Thailand and the Malay Peninsula; salangensis also 
migrates to Hainan, arriving in late September (Vaurie 1949). The Taiwan 
specimen was doubtless a straggler to the island during autumn migration. 
It was caught on a perch trap (intended for migrating Brown Shrikes Lanius 
cristatus) placed on hills of cultivated sisal {Agave sp.). 

This paper resulted from research during the Migratory Animal Pathological Survey, a 
project supported by the U.S. Army Research and Development Group (Far East), Depart- 
ment of the Army under Grant No. DA-CRD-AFE-S92-544-68-G130. I also wish to 
thank the staff of the American Museum of Natural History for permission to use their 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1977: 97(3)] 104 

References : 

King, B. F., Woodcock, M. W. & Dickinson, E. C. 1975. A Field Guide to the Birds of 

South- East Asia. Collins. London. 
Vaurie, C. 1949. A revision of the bird family Dicruridae. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 

93(4): 203-342. 

Address: 3761 Park Ave., Coconut Grove, Fla., 33133, USA. 

Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature : Opinions 

In continuation oiBull. Brit. Orn. CI. 97, 1977: 31, and by permission of the International 
Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, the following Ruling is quoted as an extract from an 
Opinion published in Bull. Zool. Nomencl. affecting birds : 


{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 33(3/4), 1977: 162) 
Correction of entry in Official List of Family-Group Names in Zoology for Name Number 
428 (Thraupidae). 

(1) The request to use the plenary powers to suppress all uses of the family-group name 
Thraupidae (Aves) prior to its use by Wetmore & Miller, 1926, is refused. 

(2) The entry for Name Number 428 on the Official List of Family-Group Names in 
Zoology is hereby corrected to read: Thraupidae, Cabanis, 1847 (type-genus Thraupis 
Boie, 1826) (Class Aves). 

The following Rulings in Opinions are summarised: 

{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 33(3/4), 1977: 159) 
Leptosomatidae in Aves and Nematoda; resolution of homonym arising from similarity in 
the names of the type genera. Leptosomidae (type-genus Leptosomus) to be used in Aves, 
Leptosomatidae (type-genus Leptosomatum) in Nematoda. 

{Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 33(3/4), 1977: 165) 
Archaeopterjx lithographica von Meyer, 1861 (Aves) given precedence over Pterodactylus 
crassipes von Meyer, 1857. 


The Bald Ibis or Waldrapp Geronticus eremita in Ethiopia 

In view of the present low numbers of the Waldrapp or Bald Ibis Geronticus 
eremita, whose world population of breeding pairs was down to about 150 m 
1972 (Parslow (1973) Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93 : 163-166), it is worth recording a 
party of six at 9 32' N, 39 29' E, one km northeast of Chacha, Shoa Province, 
Ethiopia, on 22 January 1977. They were feeding on open highland grassland, 
with patches of cultivation, at about 2879 m ' anc ^ permitted approach close 
enough to photograph them. They flew off and joined a party of about 15 
Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata with which they fed and flew. On being 
disturbed by shepherds they rose high into the air and were last seen alone 
in a compact flock at a great height soaring in a thermal. 

Smith {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. (1970) 90: 18-24) summarised the knowledge 
of this bird's distribution in Ethiopia, and refers to his own observations 
round Addis Ababa in 1941 and 1952. The latter, a flock of about 100 some 
80 km northeast of the capital, must have been very close to the 1977 locality. 
There have been no records in the interim, in spite of frequent searches in 
recent years, but the species could easily be overlooked amongst the common 
B. carunculata in the hundreds of square km of suitable habitat — most of it 
only accessible on foot. y^7\sn 

5 February 1977 g*> *. J. S. Ash 

NAMRU 5, APO New York 09319, U.S.A. 

n ^c/i 1. is., twj w jai^-L. 

Dept. of Biology, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, California 90024, U.S.A. 


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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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/" / 

ISSN 0007-1595 


Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 97 No. 4 

December 1 977 


Tuesday, 17 January 1978 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. at the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, South Kensington (entrance on the 
south side of Prince's Gardens, S.W.7, on the E. side of Exhibition Road, 
between the Victoria and Albert Museum and Hyde Park). Dr. J. G. 
Harrison, O.B.E., on "Indian Interlude". Those wishing to attend should 
send a cheque for £3.80 a person to the Hon. Secretary with their acceptance 
on the enclosed slip, to arrive not later than first post on Thursday, 12 

Tuesday, 14 March 1978 at 6.30 for 7 p.m. at the Goat Tavern, 3 Stafford 
Street, W.i. (between Old Bond Street and Ablemarle Street, nearest 
Underground station, Green Park). Dr. Bruce Campbell, O.B.E., on "Prob- 
lems of Gravel Pits". Those wishing to attend should send a cheque for 
£2.60 a person to the Hon. Secretary with their acceptance on the enclosed 
slip, to arrive not later than first post on Wednesday, 8 March. 

Please note this meeting is on the SECOND Tuesday in March. 

Details of the meeting in May 1978 will be published in the next number of 
the Bulletin. It is hoped that the speaker will be a distinguished American 


P. Hogg {Chairman) Dr. G. Beven (Vice-Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal (Hon. Secretary) M. St.J. Sugg (Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk (Editor) Mrs. J. D. Bradley 

C. E. Wheeler B. Gray 
V. F. Mann 

ioj [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol. 97 No. 4 Published : 20 December 1 977 

The seven hundred and eighth meeting of the Club was held at the Senior Common Room, 
South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 at 6.45 p.m. on Thursday, 15 September 1977. 

Chairman: Dr. G. Beven, M.D.; present 14 members and 12 guests. 

Professor V. C. Wynne-Edwards, C.B.E., F.R.S., F.R.S.E. gave an address of outstand- 
ing interest on 'Social competition controlling population density in birds'. 

Professor Wynne-Edwards first discussed the factors suggested by Darwin as being 
responsible for limiting animal numbers, namely predation, disease, climate and food 
supply, giving examples of circumstances in which they were clearly effective. These 
factors did not alone, however, account sufficiently for the remarkably constant sizes of 
populations of some animals. 

He next considered the function of territorial systems in preventing the carrying capacity 
of a habitat being exceeded. Examples of this included beavers {Castor spp.), with the need 
to prevent destruction of their habitat by excessive timber felling; and Red Deer (Cervus 
elaphus), where a social hierarchy gave the best feeding territories to hinds in calf. He then 
dealt at some length with Red Grouse {Lagopus lagopus), pointing out that population size 
was not governed by predation or disease. With this bird, size of territory was correlated 
with the quantity and quality of its main food, namely heathers {Calluna vulgaris and Erica 
spp.) and with success in obtaining a territory. Territorial success was related to hormonal 
condition, with competition for territories largely governed by strong social conventions. 

In conclusion Professor Wynne-Edwards emphasized that animals which limit their 
numbers do so for the common good. He explained that he no longer supported the concept 
of group selection since clearly genes leading to lowered fertility would be selected against 
and eliminated. Nevertheless, he considered epideictic displays (i.e. communal manoeuvres, 
especially at dusk and dawn) were of vital importance as part of the system of control of 
populations by social mechanisms. 

The address gave rise to a highly stimulating discussion. 

The Seven hundred and ninth meeting of the Club was held at the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 at 7 P- m - on Tuesday, 15 November 


Chairman : Mr. P. Hogg ; present 24 members and 1 7 guests. 
Mrs. Stephanie Tyler, Ph.D., spoke on the "Avifauna of Ethiopia", illustrating her talk 
with slides of the birds and habitats. She provided much recent information on the 
distribution of birds there and included observations made during the period she was 
held captive in 1976 and 1977, largely in montane country. 

Weights of Some Puerto Rican Birds 

by Storrs L. Olson and J. Phillip Angle 

Received 17 May 1977 
For a number of biological and evolutionary studies it has become increasing- 
ly important to know the weights of various taxa of birds. Few figures are 
available for species in the West Indies, where it is important to have data 
from many localities because of the number of species endemic to single 
islands and because the races of polytypic species can differ greatly in size 
from island to island (e.g. Spindalis). Apart from certain studies of indi- 
vidual species, the only figures for the weights of Puerto Rican birds appear 
to be those for 20 species given by Oniki (1975). 

From 14 to 30 April 1977 we collected 279 specimens of 47 species of birds 
in Puerto Rico, mainly for preparation as skeletons to provide comparative 
material for identifying a large series of Pleistocene fossils obtained pre- 
viously on the island. Each of these was weighed while fresh on an Ohaus 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 106 

triple-beam balance. We were able also to determine the sex of all specimens 
except a few of sexually non-dimorphic species that were preserved whole in 
formalin. Most of our specimens were collected in one of four localities : dry 
scrub in Guanica Forest Reserve (where, due to drought, few species were 
breeding); montane forest in Maricao Forest Reserve; coffee plantations 
near Utuado ; and pastureland around Laguna Cartagena. 

Since our sample sizes were usually small, we have simply listed the weight of each 
individual to the nearest o- 1 gm. 

Falco sparverius caribaearum: 6* 87 • 8 

Rallus longirostris caribaeus: $ 247 • 9 

Charadrius w. wilsonia: $61-2 

Columba squamosa: o* 326*2 

Zenaida m. macroura: $ 108 -o 

Columbina passerina portoricensis: & 32-8, 33-4, 35*3, 39-9;? 30-1, 35-4, 35-8, 37*7, 38-5. 

Geotrygon m. montana: $ 126-2, 140*0;$ 116-1, 117*2, 122*9, 126-0, 141 -4 

Saurothera vieilloti: 6* 73*55, 74*5, 83-4; $ 87*9, 96-9 

Crotophaga ant: $ 82-0 

Otusn. nudipes: $ 118 -o, 132-35, 142-7; $ 102*9, I 54'° 

Caprimulgus noctitherus : 6* 34-95, 35*5, 36-6 

Chlorostilbon maugaeus : $ 2*85, 2-95, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-55 (fat); $ 2-8, 2-8, 2-85, 2-9, 2-9, 

3-0, 3-05, 3-2 
Anthracothorax dominicus aurulentus : $ 5*4, 5-5, 5-9, 6-o, 6-o, 6 • 1 , 6-2, 6-3;$ 5-2, 5-3 
Anthracothorax viridis: $ 6-7, 6*9, 6*95, 7 • 1 ;$ 6-5 
Todus mexicanus: <J 5-3, 5*4, 5-5, 5*6, 5-8, 5-9, 5-9, 5-95, 6-4, 6-7; $ 5-4, 5-65; sex ? 

5*2, 5-8, 6-o 
Melanerpes pcrtoricensis: $ 53-9, 56-6, 58-5, 65*8, 67-1; $ 45-7, 49- 1, 49 '9, 52-6, 55-1, 

Tyr annus d. dominie ensis '.* q* 47- 1 

Myiarchus stolidus antillarum: 6* 22 • 8, 23 • 3, 23 • 3, 23 • 8, 25 • 3 ; $ 22 • o, 22 • 6, 22 • 9, 23 • 3, 24 • 1 
Contopus latirostris blancoi: o* n-o, 11-4, 11 • 5, 1 1 • 7 ; $ 9 • 25, 9 • 7, 9-8, 10 • o, io-o 
Elaenia martinica riisii: o* 19*1, 19*15;$ 18-3 
Hirundo f. fulva: $ 15-2, 15*3, 16*0, 16*0, 16*1, 16-2, 17-3;$ 15*25, 15-8, 16*2, 16*8, 

Mimus polyglot to s orpheus: 49 • 7 ; $ 60 • 7 

Margarops f. fuscatus : £ 89-7, 89*9, 91*6, 92-3, 106-7;$ 88-35, 9^' z 
Turdus plumbeus ardosiaceus: £ 70*9, 72-7, 82*95, 83*35; $ 6o*i, 64*4, 66-2, 67-9 
Vireo latimeri: £ io-6, 10*95, 11-4, 11*4, 12-5;$ 10-2, 10-3, 10*4, ii-i, 11-35, 12*1; 

sex ? 10-7, 11-25, I2 '4> I2 '5 
Vino a. altiloquus: $ 20-0, 20 • 8 ; $ 20*35, 22-1 
Mniotilta pari a: $ io-o 
Parula americana: o* 7*5;$ 7*0, 6-5 

Dendroica petechia cruciana: $ 11-7, 13*1;$ 10*4, 10-5, io-8, 11-4 
Dendroica tigrina: $10*2 

Dendroica caerulescens : $ 10 *o (no fat visible), 13-0 (heavy fat) 
Dendroica a. adelaidae: 6* 6 • 8, 7*1,7*2, 7*3, 8 • 1 ; $ 6 • 2, 6*35,6*6, 6*75,6*8 
Seiurus aurocapillus : $ 18-85 (heavy fat) 
Geothlypis t. trichas: 6* 9 * 4, 10*35 
Geothlypis trichas ignota: $ 1 1 • 6 
Setophaga ruti cilia: $6*5 

Coereba flaveola portoricensis: o* 9*0, 9-1, 9*2, 9-8;$ 8-2, 9-3, 9-35 
Euphonia musica sclateri : $ 12*4, 12-5, 13*1, 13-8;$ 13*35, 14*35 
Spindalis %ena portoricensis :$ 29-2, 30-6, 33*2;$ 32*4 
Nesospingus speculiferus : <$ 32-6, 35-65, 36-4, 36-5, 37*25, 37-4, 37-7, 38-1;$ 31-0, 31-7, 

37*o, 37*2, 37*95, 39*7; sex ? 32*5, 35-6, 35-8, 36-55 
Quiscalus niger brachypterus : $ 80-9, 85*8, 86*4, 89*5, 93 • 1 ; $ 61-9, 62-2, 66 • 2, 66-4, 67*2 
Icterus dominicensis portoricensis: $ 41*5, 42*1, 42-15, 44-9 
Icterus icterus ridgwayi: c? 75 * 3 > $ ^7 * 5 
Agelaius x. xan thorn us: $ 39*1,41-4 
Tiaris olivacea bryanti: o* 8*o, 8-75,$ 8-2; 

107 [Bull. Brit. Ortt. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Tiaris bicolor omissa: $ 93, 9-6, 9*9, 10 *o; $ 9*1, 9-5, 9*8, 10*4 

Loxigilla p. portoricensis: <$ 31-1, 32-0, 32-8, 34-4, 34-7, 34-7, 34-8, 34-9, 35-1, 35-8, 38-0, 
39'i;9 23-4, 26-0, 26-5, 27-8, 29-4, 31-5, 32-6, 36-7; sex ? 27-3, 29-5, 31-3, 34-6 
Estrilda amandava: cT 8-6 

Acknowledgements: This study was supported by a grant from the National Geographic 
Society and was greatly facilitated through the cooperation of the Department of Natural 
Resources of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, in which connection the aid of Mr. 
Herbert Raffaele was of particular importance. We thank George A. Clark for comments on 
the manuscript. 
Reference : 

Oniki, Y. 1975. Temperatures of some Puerto Rican birds with note of low temperatures 
in todies. Condor 77: 344. 

Address: Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, D.C. 20560 U.S.A. 

Review of the records of three Palaearctic ducks in 
Southern Africa 

by A. Clark 

Received 26 May 1977 
Moreau (1972) lists eleven species of Palaearctic duck which can be found 
wintering in East Africa. Of these the Garganey Anas querquedula is the most 
common, while the only other species consistently wintering south of the 
Sahara in large numbers is the Noithern Pintail Anas acuta. The wintering 
distribution of the European Shoveler Anas clypeata is similar to that of the 
Northern Pintail but the numbers are less. These three species occasionally 
penetrate south of latitude 10°S. 

As certain authors have been unable to accept the occurrence of the 
European Shoveler in the Cape Province as that of a genuine migrant 
(Benson & Grimwood 1959, Winterbottom & Middlemiss 1960) it was felt 
that the position could be clarified by bringing together and reviewing all 
records for Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Rhodesia, Mozambique, South 
West Africa (S.W.A.) and the Republic of South Africa (R.S.A.) of the three 
species mentioned above. 

Garganey Anas querquedula 

The Garganey records are given in Table 1, but excluded are an old record 
from Mbara, Zambia (about year 1900) and other records of specimens 
collected in December, January and February (year not stated) at Itawa 
swamp, Ndola which were originally misidentified by Schauensee as Anas 
capensis (Benson et al. 1970). 

Zambia. Fairly regular since 1972. During the February and March 1974 
rains 100 or more were counted at Lochinvar on three occasions. 

Malawi. First recorded in 1934 (the record at Loudon was between 1932 
and 1938) and then at intervals until 1948, but not again until 1973. Flocks 
of c 40 birds weie seen in 1942 and 1944. 

Rhodesia. Records include a flight of 150-200 birds, believed to be Gar- 
ganey, near Salisbury in December 1945 (Kennedy 1947). Similar numbers 
were not seen in Zambia at this time. Woodall (1975) showed there was a 
correlation between the presence of Garganey in Rhodesia and low rainfall 
in the Sahel region, south of the Sahara. 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 108 

The Zambian, Malawian and Rhodesian records were all obtained during 
the period November to April at a time when the birds can be expected in 
their winter quartets. Most records have been obtained since 1940, with an 
unexplained gap in all these countries between 1953 and 1970. 

Records of Garganey Anas querquedula south of the Sahara in eastern/southern Africa 


No. of birds Type of record 





2— ii— 43 to 




Monze, Mazabuka 

White 1943, Irwin pers. comm. 


1 i-xii-43 


1 c? specimen 


Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 





Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 

1 i-i-44 


1$ specimen 

20" 4? 

Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 



2 specimens 


Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 



1 0* specimen 

36" 7? 

Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 





Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 






Irwin pers. comm. 

9— iii— 49 



Lundazi, East Province 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 





Lake Lusiwashi 

Irwin pers. comm. 





Kanyunyu Dam, Lundazi 

Irwin pers. comm. 

31-XH-71 to 





Tucker 1972 


14-1-72 to 





Tucker 1972 

1 i-iv-72 




Kabulonga Dam, Lusaka 

Tucker 1972 

22-XI-72 to 



Kafue, Kitwe, Lusaka 

Penry 1975 

26— iii— 73 

Lochinvar, Luanshya and 

30-xi-73 to 



Kitwe, Lochinvar (100), 

Penry 1975 


Mufulira, Blue Lagoon 

30-xi-74 to 



Kitwe, Lochinvar, Luanshya 

Penry 1975 

i 5 -iii-75 







Bua River 

Bannerman 1934 






Benson 1940 


c. 30 


Lake Nderendere 

Benson 1942 




Fort Johnson (now 

Benson 1942 

Jan./Feb.-4 3 



Fort Johnson 

Benson 1944 




16" 2? 


Benson 1947 

1 2-xii-44 

c. 40 



Benson 1947 




Lake Chilwa 

Benson & Benson 1948 



1 specimen 


Benson 1949 




Lake Kasuni 

Benson 1949 

Dec /Jan.-? 



Mazimba District 

Button, E.L. pers. comm. 

late 1973 




Benson & Benson in press 

1 6-XU-76 



Kasunthula, Shire valley 

Day, D. pers. comm. 






Roberts 1943 





Gwebi flats, Salisbury 

Kennedy 1947 




Gwebi flats, SBY 

Kennedy 1947 

6— iii— 49 




Smithers 1950 

1 3-iii-49 


imm. $? 


Smithers 1950 

29~xi~5 2 




Brooke 1974 

1 5-UI-70 



near Bulawayo 

Talbot 1970 

i9-xi- 7 2 



Lake Mcllwaine, SBY. 

Tree 1973 




United Farm, SBY. 

Irwin pers. comm. 




near Salisbury 

Woodall 1975 




Que Que 

Vernon 1974 


1 or more sight 

near Bulawayo 

Irwin 1974 



$ or imm 

Nyamagavi, Mashonaland 

Tree 1976 




Rainham Dam, SBY. 

Tree 1976 

1 5-i-77 



Bonisa, Nyamandhlova 

Irwin pers. comm. 




Benoni, Transvaal 

Schmitt 1970 




Bethal district, Tvl. 

Pocock, T. N. pers. comm. 

23-i-7i to 



Germiston, Tvl. 

Clark 1 97 1, Schmitt & 


Brensing 1971 

12-1X-72 to 

i 9 -xi-72 



Germiston, Tvl. 

Clark 1972a 



Marievale, Tvl. 

Madden, S. T. pers. comm. 



$ or imm. 

Nigel district, Tvl. 

Clark pers. record 

6 and 13-^-77 




Marievale, Tvl. 

Hopcroft 1977 


[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Botswana. The single record is one of the earliest, a bird collected in 1943 
at Lobatsi c 500 km south of the most southerly Rhodesian sighting. May is 
late foi the species to be in its winter quarters so it was probably a disorien- 
tated straggler or an injured bird. 

R.S.A. The seven records have all been obtained in the Transvaal since 
1970, six being sight records of single birds. (Mackworth-Praed & Grant 
(1962) refer to an earlier Transvaal record for which I have been unable 
to find details.) All sightings were not much further south than Lobatsi, 
Botswana. It is not easy to accept two of the seven records, the 1970 
Benoni and the 1972 Germiston records, as those of genuine European 
migrants since Garganey are flightless in July and August and the male is 
likely to be in eclipse plumage between August and November, and even 
until February (Bauer & Glutz von Blotzheim 1968). There are no such out 
of season records for Zambia, Malawi or Rhodesia, and the other five records 
may also be doubted. During the 1971/72 summer normal rains fell in the 
Transvaal, but the 1972/73 summer, during which three of the seven Trans- 
vaal records were obtained, was exceptionally dry. 

No Garganey have been recorded for Mozambique, possibly due to lack 
of competent obseivers. There is an interesting record (Vinson 1947) from 
Rodriguez Island in the Indian Ocean (19° 41' S, 63° 23' E) where two were 
seen, one of which was shot, on 29 January 1945. Shortly before, a severe 
cyclone moving in a southwesterly direction had passed close to the island 
and it was assumed that the birds had been swept off their normal course. 

Records of Northern Pintail anas Acuta south of the Sahara in eastern/southern Africa 


No. of birds Type of record 





26-xii~73 to 












Itawa swamp, Ndola 
Itawa swamp, Ndola 
Itawa swamp, Ndola 




Button, E. L. pers. comm. 

White 1944 

Button, E. L. pers. comm. 

Penry 1975 

Dowsett in footnote 

to Irwin 1974 
Dowsett in footnote to Irwin 1974 
Penry 1975 
Penry 1975 






sight & 2 



Rainham Dam, SBY. 
Turk Mine, Bulawayo 

Took 1959 
Irwin 1974 





Barberspan, Transvaal 
Barberspan, Transvaal 

Skead &Broekhuysen 1974 
Skead, D. M. pers. comm. 

Northern Pintail Anas acuta 

Zambia. Eight records, five of which were single birds, and all during 
December to February (Table 2). Since 1973 this species has apparently 
occurred more frequently. During the 1973/74 northern winter exceptionally 
heavy rains fell over most of south-central Africa and Rhodesia, and as 
pointed out by Irwin (1974) "this factor, accompanied by the progressive 
series of droughts in the northern semi-arid savannah belt of Africa* ' could 
have forced many birds south of their normal wintering area (which would 
apply to Garganey as well as Northern Pintail). 

Malawi. No records prior to 1977 (Benson, in press). 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Rhodesia. Two were seen on a dam near Salisbury in November 1958 and 
two ?$ were taken from a flight of five near Bulawayo in February 1974. 

Botswana. Smithers (1964) recorded none. 

R.S.A. Two sight records of single males. It is difficult to accept the July 
record, since Northern Pintails are usually flightless in July, the breeding 
plumage of males not being complete until October/November or even 
later (Bauer & Glutz von Blotzheim 1968). The bird could have escaped 
from a waterfowl collection, as also could have the January bird. It is also 
possible that it was the same bird that was seen on each occasion. 

Records of European Shoveler Anas clypeata south of the Sahara in eastern/southern Africa 


No. of birds Type of record Sex 







26* 4? 

Mpika District 

Button, E. L. pers. 






Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. 






Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. 





Itawa swamp, Ndola 

Button, E. L. pers. 


Nov. Sc Jan. 



Lundazi, Eastern Province 

Benson et al. 1971 





Penry 1975 

Dec-73 to 




Penry 1975 






Penry 1975 





Fort Johnson 

Benson 1949 






Benson 1949 






Hampton, SBY. 

Blencowe 1972 






Andara, Okavango 

Borsutsky 1964 


1 specimen 


Riet Vlei, Cape Town 

Stark & Sclater 1906 


1 sight 


Riet Vlei, Cape Town 

Broekhuysen & Meiklejohn 


3 sight 

Id" 2? 

Zeekoe Vlei, Cape Town 

Benson 1950 


2 sight 


Zeekoe Vlei, Cape Town 

Benson 1950 

4-XI-44 to 

2 sight 


Benoni, Transvaal 

Daniels 1952 


1 sight 

Van Wyk's Rust, Tvl. 

Patten 1957 


1 sight 


KnysnaLake, C.P. "] 

Middlemiss in Benson & 


1 sight 


Bredasdorp, C.P. }■ 

Grimwood 1959 


1 sight 


Bredasdorp, C.P. 


1 sight 

East Griqualand, C.P. 

Winterbottom & Middlemiss 


1 caught & 


Evander, Tvl. 

Skead, D. M. pers. comm. 


1 sight 


Buffels River, C.P. 

Forrester 1972 

3-xi-72 to 

1 sight 


Germiston, Tvl. 

Clark 1972b 

7 xii 72 
i9~vi~75 to 

1 sight 


Barberspan, Tvl. 

Skead, D. M. pers. comm. 


t 94 I 


European Shoveler Anas clypeata 

Zambia. All the records (Table 3) fall within the normal wintering period 
and in number equal the Northern Pintail records. The four birds sighted in 
December 1973 coincided with the local rains and with drought in the Sahel. 

Malawi and Rhodesia. Single birds obtained between November and March. 

Botswana. Smithers (1964) recorded none. 

S.W.A. The single bird, identified as a male, on 2 October is unlikely to 

have spent the summer in Europe, since eclipse plumage is often not shed 

until December (Witherby et al. 1939). 

Mozambique. Hanmer (1976) recorded two Cape Shoveler Anas smithi 

1 1 1 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

from Mopeia on 26 December 1972. Re-checking with Mrs Hanmer details 
of the plumage obtained at the time shows that the birds could have been 
European Shoveler in their first winter plumage, in which case this would 
be the first record for Mozambique. 

R.S.A. In the light of the few Zambian, Malawian and Rhodesian records, 
the 13 R.S.A. records, 8 of which come from the Cape Province (the two 
Zeekoe Vlei records are taken to be the same birds), immediately become 
suspect as not true migrants, particularly also as there are no Garganey 
records for the Cape Province. All are sight records except one collected in 
1893 and one trapped in 1970. Significantly males predominate, presumably 
in full breeding plumage. If we exclude the nine records obtained between 
May and September, there are four November/December records which 
could possibly be European migrants: two in the Cape Province and two in 
the Transvaal. 

Benson (1950) and Benson & Grimwood (1959), reviewing the Cape 
Province records, inclined to the view that they were Cape Shovelers show- 
ing an exceptionally exaggerated dimorphism, but did not exclude the 
possibility of birds having escaped from captivity. Winterbottom & Middle- 
miss (1960) compared the European and Cape Shovelers and considered the 
differences presented were sufficient to support "specific distinctiveness". 
They rejected the possibility of exaggerated dimorphism on the basis that 
smithi is the more primitive form and that there was no reason to suppose 
that it had ever evolved a breeding plumage showing the degree of dimor- 
phism found in c/jpeata; they also thought it more likely that some of the 
birds had escaped from captivity. 

Anyone familiar with the two species in the field could not easily fail to 
distinguish them. Apart from the distinctive colouring of the clypeata male, 
the beak is noticeably more spatulate than that of smithi. Consequently I 
think the identification of most of the R.S.A. records must be accepted as 
correct, whatever the birds' origins. 


Records of all three species in Zambia and of Garganey in Rhodesia have 
increased since 1972, either due to increased attention being given to ducks, 
or because of a real increase in numbers of these European migrants. 

The Garganey is the only species for which African wintering grounds 
are of great importance (Moreau 1972) and it is not surprising that single 
birds and occasional flocks move south when their normal wintering quarters 
suffer drought. However, two of the R.S.A. male birds occurred when 
European birds ate in eclipse and it is unlikely that they were migrants, the 
only possible alternative being that they had escaped from captivity; and 
this could apply to the remaining five records. 

Two Zambian and one Rhodesian Northern Pintail records, the latter a 
flight of several birds, obtained during the 1973/74 northern winter, coincided 
with drought in the Sahel and heavy rainfall in these regions. The two R.S.A. 
records were obtained during a drought period and the male recorded in 
July at least is unlikely to have been a migrant. 

It is even more difficult to accept 13 R.S.A. European Shoveler records as 
those of true migrants. Moreau (1972) states that the European Shoveler is 
less common in East Africa than the Northern Pintail so that records of the 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 1 1 2 

former in R.S.A. are unlikely to exceed those of Garganey or Northern 
Pintail, which are themselves rare and suspect. 

In recent years other exotic waterfowl have been seen wild in R.S.A. 
A European Shelduck Tadorna tadorna was recorded near Port Elizabeth, 
Cape Province in June 1974 and considered to be a migrant (Blake 1975), 
although the species has not been recorded wintering in East Africa and the 
record was obtained during the Euiopean breeding season. This species is 
kept in zoological gardens and was present at East London Zoo, Cape 
Province at the end of 1972.* 

An American Black Duck Anas rubripes was seen in Durban Bay, Natal on 
30 March 1975 (Brooke & Sinclair 1976). At the time it was considered to be 
an escape, and subsequently guessed to have come from a ship which had 
arrived in the Bay a few weeks earlier with a cargo of captive birds (Brooke 
in litt.). A similar incident in 1916 is considered responsible for the establish- 
ment of a feral population of Mute Swans Cygnus olor in the Knysna and 
Humansdorp districts of the Cape Province (Palmer 1966). 

At a pan in the residential area of Benoni, Transvaal, during June and 
July 1976 there was a free-flying duck which I subsequently identified as a 
female or immatuie Ringed Teal Callonetta leucophrys, a South American 
species which could only have come from a captive source. 

The importation of exotic birds into R.S.A. has increased in tecent 
years, and apart from zoological gardens, which keep both foreign and 
indigenous waterfowl, there are a number of private collections doing the 
same, one of which recently advertised for sale a pair of Ringed Teal. 

Prior to 1968 the Transvaal Nature Conservation Ordinance controlled 
only the keeping of indigenous birds; there were no lestrictions on the 
importing or keeping of exotic birds. A new Ordinance came into force 
on 1 January 1968 whereby no exotic bird could be imported or released 
without a permit. However this has had little effect on the number of importa- 
tions, and apparently none on the sale or accidental release of birds kept in 
captivity. In the Cape Province as in the Transvaal, there was no control 
on the importation or keeping of exotic waterfowl until legislation was 
introduced in 1968 involving permits for importation and keeping of birds 
in captivity, which had then to be permanently pinioned. In September 1975 
exotic waterfowl were classified as protected species, enabling full control 
over the importation and movement within the Cape Province to be main- 
tained and restricting the importation to bona fide Zoos and Research Institu- 

There is thus sufficient evidence to cast doubt on the R.S.A. records of 
all three species as being those of genuine Palaearctic migrants and this 
situation will persist until we can reliably discount the possibility of their 
being escaped birds. However, the Zambian, Malawian and Rhodesian 
records fit into the general pattern of the wintering areas of these three 
species and can be accepted as those of genuine Palaearctic migrants. 

Acknowledgements: I am indebted to Mr. R. K. Brooke for considerable help with an early 
draft of this paper. I also wish to thank Messrs. C. W. Benson, R. K. Brooke and M. P. 

Stuart Irwin for invaluable help with references, and Messrs. E. L. Button, D. Day, S. T. 
Madden, T. N. Pocock and D. M. Skead for unpublished records. 

*Recently confirmed as an escaped bird (Every, B. (1977) The Bee-eater 28(2): 10.) 

1 1 3 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 1934. Minutes of Club meeting. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 54: 124 

Bauer, K. M. & Glutz von Blotzheim, U.N. 1968. Handbuch der Vogel Mitteleuropas, Band 2. 

Ak. Verlagsgesellschaft. Frankfurt am Main. 
Benson, C. W. 1940. Further notes on Nyasaland Birds. Ibis 4: 283. 

— 1942. Additional Notes on Nyasaland Birds. Ibis. 6: 202. 

— 1944. Notes from Nyasaland. Ibis. 86: 448. 

— 1947. Observations from Kota-kota district of Nyasaland. Ibis 89: 557. 

— 1949- Some new records for Nyasaland. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 69: 58. 

— 1950. The occurrence of the European Shoveler in South Africa. Ostrich 21(2): 56-57. 

— & Benson, F. M. 1948. Notes from Northern Nyasaland. Ibis 90: 389. 

— & Benson, F. M. (in press). The Birds of Malawi. Limbe, Malawi: Montfort Press. 

— Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1970. Notes on the birds of 
Zambia. Part 5. Arnoldia 4(40): 5-6. 

— Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. 
London: Collins. 

— & Grimwood, I. R. 1959. The occurrence of the European Shoveler Anas c. clypeata 
in South Africa. Bokmakierie 11 : 39-40. 

Blake, E. 1975. The first recorded occurrence of the European Shelduck in Southern 

hemisphere. Ostrich. 46: 258. 
Blencowe, E. J. 1972. Letter to Editor. Honeyguide 72: 35. 

Borsutsky, P. 1964. European Shoveler on the Okavango River. Ostrich 35: 121. 
Broekhuysen, G. J. & Meiklejohn, M. F. M. 1941. Observations on Palaearctic waders 

and European Swallows in the Cape. Ostrich suppl. 1:31. 
Brooke, R. K. 1974. A Salisbury Garganey. Honeyguide 77: 43. 

— & Sinclair, J. C. 1976. An American Black Duck in Durban. Ostrich 47: 67-68. 
Clark, A. 1971. Garganey at Rondebult. Witwatersrand Bird CI. News Sheet 74: 2. 

— 1972a. Garganey at Rondebult. Witwatersrand Bird CI. News Sheet 80: 12. 

— 1972b. European Shoveler Spatula clypeata at Rondebult. Witwatersrand Bird CI. News 
Sheet 80: 14. 

Daniels, T. S. 1952. The European Shoveler in Benoni. Ostrich 23(1): 46-47. 

Forrester, A. K. 1972. Some unusual vagrants at Kleinzee, Namaqualand. Ostrich 43: 

Hanmer, D. B. 1976. Birds of the lower Zambezi. Sth. Birds 2: 18. 
Hopcroft, C. 1977. Field card records. Witwatersrand Bird CI . News Sheet 97-2. 
Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1974. The Pintail Anas acuta in Rhodesia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 56-57. 
Kennedy, J. 1947. Garganey in Southern Rhodesia. Ibis.Sy: 519. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C.H.B. 1962. Birds of the Southern Third of Africa. 

Series 2. Vol. 1. London: Longmans. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London: Academic 

Patten, G. 1957. European Shoveler at Van Wyk's Rust. Witwatersrand Bird CI . News Sheet 

Palmer, E. 1966. The Plains of Camdeboo. London: Collins. 

Penry, E. H. 1975. Palaearctic migrant ducks in Zambia. Bull. Zambian Orn. Soc. 7(1): 8-1 1. 
Roberts, A. 1943. Garganey recorded from Lobatsi, Bechuanaland. Ostrich 14(2): 113. 
Schmitt, M. 1970. Garganey at Westdene. Witwatersrand Bird CI. News Sheet 71 : 4. 

— & Brensing, H. 1971 . Garganey at Rondebult. Witwatersrand Bird CI. News Sheet 73 : 6. 
Skead, D. M. & Broekhuysen, G. J. 1974. Pintail Anas acuta. Ostrich 45 : 134. 
Smithers, R. H. N. 1950. Garganey in Southern Rhodesia. Ibis 92: 146. 

— 1 964. A Check-list of the Birds of Bechuanaland Protectorate. Trustees Nat. Museum : 
Southern Rhodesia. 

Stark A. C. & Sclater, W. L. 1906. The Fauna of South Africa. Birds 4: 145. London: Porter. 
Talbot, J. 1970. Letter to Editor. Honeyguide 63: 33. 

Took, J. M. E. 1959. Pintail Anas acuta in Southern Rhodesia. Ostrich 30(2): 84. 
Tree, A. J. 1973. Birds on Lake Mcllwaine. Honeyguide 76: 32-35. 

— 1976. Some recent interesting duck records from Mashonaland. Honeyguide 86: 42. 
Tucker, J. J. 1972. Garganey in Zambia. Bull. Zambian Orn. Soc. 4(1): 27-28. 
Vernon, C. J. 1974. Garganey at Sable Park. Honeyguide 77: 43. 

Vinson, J. 1947. A record of the Garganey Anas querquedula Linnaeus from Rodriguez 
Island. Ibis 89: 361. 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 114 

White, C. M. N. 1943. Garganey in Northern Rhodesia. Ibis 85 : 346. 

— 1944. Further notes on Palaearctic migrants in Northern Rhodesia. Ostrich 15 : 49-61. 

Winterbottom, J. M. & Middlemiss, E. J. H. i960. Notes on the Cape Shoveler. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 80(9): 154-162. 
Witherby, H. F., Jourdain, F. C. R., Ticehurst, N. F. & Tucker, B. W. 1939. The Handbook 

of British Birds. Vol. 3. London: Witherby. 
Woodall, P. F. 1975. The Garganey Anas querquedula in Rhodesia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 95(2) : 


Address: 32 Southy Rd., Farramere, Benoni, 1500 Transvaal, South Africa. 

The rediscovery of the Blofeld and the Wilkes 
Collections of sub-fossil birds from St. Helena 

byC.A. Walker 

Received 1 6 June 1977 

Blofeld and Wilkes collected sub-fossil bird bones on St. Helena in the 
middle of the nineteenth century. Both collections were presented to the 
Geological Society of London (Blofeld 1852), but neither was properly 
catalogued; and in 191 1 the Society's overseas collections, presumably in 
toto, were transferred to the Department of Geology (now Palaeontology) of 
the British Museum (Natural History). The importance of the extinct birds 
of St. Helena became apparent only recently when new collections of their 
own were worked on by Ashmole (1963) and Olson (1975), from which 
Wetmore (1963) and Olson described a number of new species of Quaternary 
age. Ashmole, however, stated that he was unable to trace the specimens in 
the British Museum and Olson made no further enquiries. Since then both 
the Blofeld and the Wilkes collections have been found with uncatalogued 
sub-fossil mammal remains from another locality. 

The precise locations of Wilkes' and Blofeld's collecting sites remain 
unknown. Ashmole and Olson both looked for Wilkes' " Turk's Cap Bay " 
locality : neither, however, found any trace of bones in the aiea, and both 
share Hutchison's opinion (1950) that Wilkes' collecting locality was Prosper- 
ous Bay. As for the Longwood deposit, Blofeld stated that the locality was 
" about half a mile behind Longwood, at an elevation of about 1,700 ft. 
above the level of the sea, on a hill-side which is worn into numerous clefts 
or ravines by the heavy rains. The surface of the hill to a depth of 5 to 6 feet 
consists of dark mould and under this a stratum of greyish brown friable 
earth about 3 to 4 feet thick; in this latter bed the shells occur. This earth 
also contains bird bones perfect and fragmentary, in abundance . . . ". The 
description of the substrate is accurate, for there is a sample of the " earth " 
with the fossil molluscs collected by Blofeld, also in the British Museum. 
Ashmole made no search for this deposit; Olson failed to locate the site 
from Blofeld's description, but tentatively suggested that it was Sugarloaf 

Both original collections were examined by Richard Owen who identified 
their contents as " marine birds, with some of the Wilkes' belonging to the 
sub-genus Puffinus" (in Blofeld 1852: 2). More critical examination today, 
however, shows that they also include examples of gruiform, charadriiform 
and coraciiform birds. 

The majority of the bones from the two collections (B=Blofeld, W= 

ii5 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Wilkes), all housed in the Dept. of Palaeontology of the British Museum 
(Nat. Hist.), have now been identified: 


Pterodroma rupinarum Olson, 1975. 

Imperfect left and right coracoids (A 4436-38, 50); proximal ends of left 
and right humeri (A 4431-34, 47), distal end of left humerus (A 4444); 
proximal end of right ulna (A 4448) ; imperfect left and right carpometacarpi 
(A 4440-42) [all W.]. 

Pterodroma cf. rupinarum. 

Imperfect left carpometacarpus (A 4443) [W.]. 

Bulweria cf. bifax Olson, 1975. 

Imperfect right carpometacarpus (A. 4443) [W.]. 

Puffinus as si mi lis J Iherminieri [extant spp.]. 

Imperfect lower mandible (A 4420) [B.]; distal ends of humeri (A 4445-6, 
5i, 5 3) [W.]. 

Ashmole (1963) tefeired his material to "P. assimilisj Iherminieri". Olson, 
howevei, was more specific and referred all the known material to 
P. Iherminieri on the basis of small size differences, Iherminieri 's occurrence 
on Ascension Island (the nearest land to St. Helena) and the probability that 
the warm water conditions of St. Helena probably suited Iherminieri better 
than assimilis. It is interesting to note that Loveridge (pers comm. C. J. O. 
Harrison) states that P. assimilis bqydi has now been found alive on St. Helena. 

Puffinus sp. indet. 

Imperfect left femur (A 4426) [B.]. 


Atlantisia podarces (Wetmore, 1963). 

Imperfect left femur (A 4425); distal end of right tibiotarsus (A 4421) [B.] ; 
proximal end of right tarsometatarsus (A 4461), distal end of right tarso- 
metatarsus (A 4460) [W.]. 

Por^ana astrictocarpus Olson, 1973. 

Distal ends of left and right tibiotarsi (A 4422-24) [B.], (A 4917) [W.]; 
imperfect right tarsometatarsus (A 4427) [B.]. 

Gygis alba [extant sp.]. 
Imperfect left carpometacarpus (A 4419) [B.], 


Upupa antaios Olson, 1975. 

Complete right humerus (A 4418) [B.], measuring 37-9 mm in length, 
somewhat larger than those described by Olson. 

References : 

Ashmole, N. P. 1963. The extinct avifauna of St. Helena Island. Ibis 103b: 390-408. 

Blofeld, J. H. 1852. Notes on St. Helena. Proc. Geol. Soc. Lond. 8 : 195-6. 

Hutchison, G. E. 1950. Survey of contemporary knowledge of biogeochemistry, 3: The 

biogeochemistry of vertebrate extinction. Bull. A.m. Mus. nat. Hist. 96: xvlli-554. 
Olson, S. L. 1973. Evolution of the rails of the South Atlantic Islands (Aves: Rallidae). 

Smithsonian Contrib. Zoology 152: 1-53. 
— 1975. Paleornithology of St. Helena Island, South Atlantic Ocean. Smithsonian Contrib. 

Paleobiology 23: 1-43. 
Wetmore, A. 1963. An extinct rail from the island of St. Helena. Ibis 103b: 379-81. 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 


Address: Dept. of Palaeontology, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, 
London, SW7 5BD. 

Notes on some uncommon forest birds in Ghana 

by M. A. Macdonald and I. R. Taylor 

Received 28 June 1977 
During a study of the ecology of forest birds in Ghana we have recorded a 
number of species (listed below) which aie either new to the area, or which 
have proved to be more common in the area than was previously believed, 
including some regarded as very rare in Ghana. The observations were made 
on regular visits to 1 8 sites spread from east to west across the forest region 
(Table 1, Fig. 1) covering the 4 main types of forest habitat in the region: 
primary forest, reserved secondary forest, cocoa farms and 'mosaic* forest. 

SO km 

Fig. 1. .Map of southern Ghana showing the boundaries of the major forest types (from 
Hall & Swaine 1976) and the positions (numbered as in Table 1) of the sites 
visited during the study. 


[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Cocoa farms consist of cocoa trees as understory with a higher canopy of 
forest trees retained for shade. 'Mosaic* forest consists of small patches of 
secondary forest or cocoa farm interspersed with open farmland. 

All the identifications were sight-records made with great care under 


Names and brief description of forest sites in Ghana visited during the study (Fig. 1) 

Site No. 

Lat. and 


Forest type 
{Hall <& Swaine 1976) 



6° 3 8'N, 

Bia National Park 

moist evergreen 

primary forest except 
on edge 


5 °i6'N, 

Subri River Forest 

>» >» 

closed secondary 


Reserve (F.R.) 



5°o 9 / N, 


moist semi-deciduous 

Cocoa, some open 


5 °ii'N, 


>> »> 

Cocoa, some open 


5°i 5 'N, 

i° 3 o'W 


>> »> 

Cocoa, some open 



I°2 4 'W 

Pra Suhien F.R. 

closed secondary 


5 °2o'N, 


Kakum F.R. 

>> >» 

closed secondary 




dry semi-deciduous 

mosaic with cocoa 


5 20' N, 


moist semi-deciduous 

cocoa, some open 


6°o 5 / N, 
o° 50' W 


» >> 

very mixed, with 
primary and 
secondary forest; 
cocoa, oil palm, 
rubber and citrus 


6° 02' N, 
o° 49' W 


» >> 

mosaic, with cocoa 


o° 47' W 

Esen Apam F.R. 

>> >> 

closed secondary 


6°i 7 'N, 
o° 34' W 

Atewa Range F.R. 

upland evergreen 

primary forest 




Suhum-Tafo Road 

moist semi-deciduous 

cocoa farm 


6° 27' N, 
o° 24' W 

Worobong F.R. 

dry semi-deciduous 

closed secondary 


6 i5'N, 

O 22' W 


moist semi-deciduous 

small patches of 
secondary forest in 
cocoa farming area 


6°n , N, 
o° 03' W 

Odumase F.R. 

dry semi-deciduous 

closed secondary 
forest, but with 
considerable active 
farming within 


6° 5 2'N, 
o° 28' E 


>> >» 

cocoa, transitional 
forest (forest- 
savanna boundary), 
some open farmland, 
and grassland 

Note: Pra Suhien and Kakum F.R. are on the boundary between the moist evergreen and 
moist semi-deciduous zones. The bird fauna is more typical of the former type. 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 1 1 8 

excellent conditions for observation. English nomenclature follows Banner- 
man (1953) and the scientific names and sequence follow Mackworth-Praed 

6 Grant (1970, 1973). Unless otherwise stated, information on previously 
known distribution and status is taken from these works. 

Cassin's Hawk-Eagle Cassinaetus africanus. Previously considered 
rare, this little-known eagle was seen regularly between August and December 
1976 and in April and June 1977 at sites 2, 4, 6, 7, 13 and 18. At one site 2 
birds were displaying together in the air, at another a single adult was calling 
peisistently from a perch, and on 16 December 1976 a nest containing one 
well-grown chick was found in the Pra Suhien Forest Reserve. The bulky 
nest was c 20m above the ground, and the single adult in attendance was 
silent and unobtrusive. On 4 June 1977 a freshly fledged youngster was 
calling loudly ftom a perch only i-jm from the same nest, strongly suggest- 
ing double-brooding. Recently the species was discovered in Ivory Coast 
(Brunei & Thiollay 1969) and Liberia (Serle et aL 1977) but previously was 
not known from west of about o° 30' E. 

Black-collared Lovebird Agapornis swinderniana. Two birds were 
seen at the Pia Suhien F.R. (site 6) on 12 June 1977. Up to 10 together were 
seen at Bia (site 1) on 4 occasions between 7 and 10 April 1977, and at least 

7 at Kakum F.R. (site 7) were watched feeding on strangler figs on 12 June 
1977. Apart from one overlooked record from 1902 (Snow 1976) these are 
the only records of the species between Liberia and Cameroun. 

Laughing Hornbill Bycanistes fistulator. Over most of the area birds 
resembled B.f.fistulator (Piping Hornbill). At the Atewa Range F.R. (site 13) 
3 birds on 1 and 9 August 1976, and at Worobong F.R. (site 15) 2 birds on 
15 October 1976 showed the more swollen bill and greater amount of white 
in the wing and (especially) the tail characteristic of B. f. sharpii. We have 
once recorded B.f. fistulator at Atewa. The Afram River (now much altered 
by the Volta Dam) was considered the boundary between the two forms, 
so these records represent a 60 km westward extension to the known range 
of sharpii. 

Piculet Verreauxia afrkana. Two birds, one fitting exactly the descrip- 
tion of an adult female Piculet and the other (rather duller and lacking the 
bright red eye-patch) possibly a young bird, were seen together near Akutuase 
(site 5) on 27 January 1977. This appears to be the first record from anywhere 
in Upper Guinea, although a doubtful report from Nigeria was quoted by 
Bannerman (1953). Sub-specific differences between Upper and Lower 
Guinea forms of this and other species new to Upper Guinea may be expected 
if specimens are ever obtained. 

Bates' Swift Apus batesi. A small black swift with strikingly rapid 
fluttering flight was seen at close range in Subri R.F.R. (site 2) on 26 August 
(at least 1), 4 September (at least 4) and 25 December (1). We feel this can 
only be Bates' Swift, a species known from Lower Guinea and of which 
there are also unconfirmed reports from Sierra Leone and Guinea-Conakry 
and another sight-record from Liberia (Serle et al. 1977). 

Chapin's Spine-tailed Swift Telacanthura melanopygia. As recently as 
1966 this species was considered endemic to the Lower Guinea forest 

ii9 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

(Moreau 1966). In 1972 it was found near Tafo (site 16) (L. Grimes pers. 
comm.) and in 1975 in Nigeria (Elgood 1975). We have found it widely 
distributed (sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 16) and in places common in 
forest reserves, cocoa farms and mosaic forest. Whether the species has been 
overlooked or has recently colonized Upper Guinea remains unknown. 

Nehrkorn's Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Hyliota violacea. Birds 
with the characteristics of H. v. nehrkorni (no white wing-bar) were found at 
sites 1-9, 12, 16, 17 and 18. Its preferred habitat appears to be cocoa farm 
and open secondary growth. This little-known race was originally described 
from Ghana and is now known to occur as far west as Liberia, as well as 
being much commoner in Ghana than was previously thought. 

Black-crowned Flycatcher Trochocercus nigromitratus . One bird was 
seen well at Kakum F.R. (site 7) on 5 January 1977 in a 'bird army'. We found 
it on 3 occasions at Bia (site 1) (1, 1 and 4 birds) between 5 and 8 April 1977; 
at Kakum again on 12 June 1977 (1) and at Atewa (site 13) on 19 June 1977 
(several). It is known in Upper Guinea from Liberia, but we know of no 
other records between there and Nigeria. 

Sharpe's Apalis Apalis sharpei. Three individuals were seen in the 
Atewa Range F.R. (site 13) on 1 August 1976, 3-4111 up, in a mixed flock. 
At Bia (site 1) on 7 April 1977 a pair was seen feeding two fledged young at 
a height of c 4- 5 m and on 8 April a single male was seen feeding at c 2 5 m up 
in a flowering tree in which a single female was also seen on 10 April. On 
20 April 1977 at Worobong F.R. (site 15) a pair was watched feeding low 
down in a mixed flock. At Subri R.F.R. (site 2), on 2 June 1977, 2 females 
were with a mixed flock, and at Kakum F.R. (site 7) a single female and a 
pair were foraging alone. The plumage of the young seen on 7 April was 
quite different from that of the adults and appears not to have been described. 
They were dark grey above, pale yellow below washed grey on the upper 
breast, bill dark above and pale below, the gape pink. The young emitted 
a continuous rapid nasal twitter. This species is known from a few specimens 
taken between Ghana and Sierra Leone, and has rarely been seen. Close 
relatives (sometimes regarded as con specific) occur in Lower Guinea and 
East Africa (Hall & Moreau 1962). 

Dusky Tit Parus funereus. Two adults were seen feeding a fledged 
youngster at Worobong (site 15) on 20 April 1977, and 1 adult with 1 imma- 
ture bird begging for food were seen at Atewa (site 13) on 21 May 1977. 
Bannerman (1953) recorded only 1 specimen from Upper Guinea (from 
Elmina in south Ghana), but it has since been recorded from Liberia (Hall 
& Moreau 1970). 

Cassin's Weaver Malimbus cassini. At least 3 males were seen with 
Red-headed Weavers M. rubricollis, Red-vented Weavers M. scutatus and 
other species at Tafo (site 16) on 25 July 1976. They were feeding on fruit. 
Two groups of Malimbus weavers at Subri R.F.R. (site 2) on 25 December 
1976 and 6 February 1977 were probably also Cassin's Weavers. We have 
seen 7 nests taken at Tafo which are probably of Cassin's Weavers; the length 
of the entrance tube of 5 of them was 60-8 8cm (mean 73 cm), which contrasts 
with corresponding measurements of 4 nests of Red- vented Weavers (typical 
of about 20 which we have seen in Ghana) of 30-460x1 (mean 39cm). This 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 120 

Lower Guinea species was previously not known to occur west of Nigeria, 
which was included in its range on the basis of sight records (Moreau 
1958) by Bannerman and Mackworth-Praed & Grant, but excluded by El- 
good (1964, 1975). Moreau (1958) discussed and rejected Chapin's (1954) 
inference that M. cassini and M. scutatus are conspecific, a decision given 
some support by our observations. 

Red-fronted Ant-pecker Parmoptila rubrifrons. A pair was seen 
together at Kakum F.R. (site 7) on 5 January 1977 feeding close together at 
c 4m in Raphia and behaving much as the Tiny Tit- Weaver Pholidornis 
rushiae. Bannerman described the species as 'extremely rare* when it was 
known only from Ghana. It has now been found as far west as Liberia and 
is represented also in Lower Guinea. 

We are grateful to the Ghana Department of Game and Wildlife for allowing us to visit 
Bia National Park and especially to Dr. Claude Martin, the Warden, for arranging accom- 
modation and for his helpful advice. Dr. D. W. Snow drew our attention to his paper on 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 1953. The Birds of West and Equatorial Africa. Oliver and Boyd, Edin- 
burgh and London. 

Brunei, J. & Thiollay, J. M. 1969. Liste preliminaire des oiseaux de Cote-d'Ivoire. Alauda 
37(3): 230-254. 

Chapin, J. P. 1954. The birds of the Belgian Congo, Part 4. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 75B. 

Elgood, J. H. 1965. Provisional check-list of the birds of Nigeria. Bull. Nigerian Orn. Soc. 1 : 

— 1975- The new Nigerian check-list. Bull. Nigerian Orn. Soc. 11 : 68-73. 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1962. A study of the rare birds of Africa. Bull. Brit. Mus. Nat. 
Hist. 8: 316-378. 

— — I97°- An Atlas of Speciation in African Passerine Birds. Trustees of the British 
Museum (Nat. Hist.). London. 

Hall, J. B. & Swaine, M. D. 1976. Classification and ecology of closed-canopy forest in 

Ghana. /. Ecol. 64 : 9 1 3-9 5 1 . 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1970, 1973. Birds of West and Central Africa, 

vols. 1 and 2. Longman, London. 
Moreau, R. E. 1958. The Malimbus spp. as an evolutionary problem. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 


— 1 966. The Bird Faunas of Africa and its Islands. Academic Press, New York and London. 
Serle, W., Morel, G. J. & Hartwig, W. 1977. A Field Guide to the Birds of West Africa. 

Collins, London. 
Snow, D. W. 1976. Agapornis swinderniana in Ghana. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 106. 

Addresses: M. A. Macdonald, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. 

I. R. Taylor, Dept. of Zoology, University of Ghana, Legon. {Present address: Dept. of 

Forestry and Natural Resourses, University of Edinburgh, Scotland). 

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus on 
Frigate Island, Seychelles 

by E. H. Penry 

Received 22 July 1977 
On 12 November 1976 whilst visiting Frigate Island, Seychelles, a Phyllosco- 
pus warbler was found foraging in typical manner in the canopy of a tree. 
My immediate impression was that it was a Willow Warbler Phylloscopus 
trochilus, a species with which I am familiar in Zambia and from Britain, but 
as it was some 30m distant I walked rapidly towards the tree and viewed the 

i2i [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

bird from about 20m for only about 10 seconds before it was chased out of 
the tree by a territorial male Madagascar Fody Foudia madagascariensis. 
However before it flew, it called with the characteristic call of a Willow 
Warbler "see wit", "seewit, seewit". The following features were noted — 
phylloscopine warbler shape, small thin black bill, upperside plain olive- 
grey-green, slightly greyer on rump and tail, superciliary pale yellow; 
underside, very pale yellow wash on throat and upper chest merging to 
brown wash on sides of chest; remainder of underside white. The leg colour 
was not noted. There were no other species on Frigate with which the bird 
could have been confused and no other passerine migrants were seen there 
that day. 

I am not familiar with ChiffcharT P. collybita in Afiica, but know it in Bri- 
tain. Its occurrence on Frigate is far less likely than that of the Willow 
Warbler ^/"Moreau (1972: 306), Benson (1972), Frith (1974: 16-17). Wood 
Warbler P. sibilatrix has once been recorded from Aldabra, on 12 December 
1972 (Frith 1974). I had seen this species with Willow Warblers on the edge 
of Kakamega Forest, Kenya, a week previously. The west-east variation in 
Willow Warblers is noticeable in Zambia, where probably most forms of the 
cline are represented (Benson et al. 1971 : 243). The bird seen on Frigate was 
much less yellow below than many Willow Warblers seen in Zambia and 
was not confusable with Wood Warbler. 

Penny (1974: 152) gives but two records, both from the Amirantes, and 
they may indeed be based on one and the same bird, from African Banks, 
5 S, 53 E (Church 1971, Benson 1972). Benson (pers. comm.) assures me 
that Tony Beamish (quoted by Church) and H. H. Beamish (quoted by him- 
self) are one and the same person. Dr. G. E. Watson had drawn Benson's 
attention (pers. comm. to Benson 13 April 1973) to Church's note, having 
been with Beamish on the same cruise of the Lindblad Explorer under the 
direction of Dr. Lyall Watson, and he too identified the bird as a P. trocbilus, 
not a "new variety" of the "Brush Warbler" as suggested by Church. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1972. Some land bird migrants in the western Indian Ocean. Atoll Res. 

Bull. 162: io-ii. 
— Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The Birds of Zambia. London: 

Church, C. 1971. Discovery on 'African Bank'. Africana 4(5): 23, 41. 
Frith, C. B. 1974. New observations of migrants and vagrants from Aldabra, Farquhar 

and Astove Atolls, Indian Ocean. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 12-19. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London and New York : 

Academic Press. 
Penny, M. 1974. The Birds of Seychelles and the outlying islands. London: Collins. 

Address: P.O. Box 1900, Kitwe, Zambia. 

Field notes on the nests of the Green-fronted 

Lancebill Dory/era ludoviciae and the 

Blue-fronted Lancebill Dory/era johannae 

by Barbara K. Snow & M. Gochfeld 

Received 2j July 1977 
The phylogenetic relationship of the two species of Lancebill Doryfera to 
the hermit group of hummingbirds and to other hummingbirds has been 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 122 

uncertain. Placed by Peters (1945) at the beginning of the Trochilidae, 
Wetmore (1968) moved them to a position at the end of the hermits near 
where Ridgway (191 1) had originally placed them. Wetmore's move was in 
accordance with the arrangement of A. Ruschi (1965) based on the form of 
the nest. 

The lancebills most striking morphological character is their long, straight 
and very fine pointed bill. The plumage is mainly dull for a hummingbird 
except that both species have a patch of iridescent feathers on the forehead 
which is found in both sexes in the Green-fronted Lancebill D. ludoviciae but 
only in the male in the sexually dimorphic Blue-fronted Lancebill D. 
iohannae. Both species are confined to mountainous areas, D. johannae in 
southeast Venezuela and the adjacent area of Brazil and Guyana and along 
the eastern base of the eastern Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and N. E. Peru; 
D. ludoviciae, more widely in the upper tropical and sub-tropical zones of the 
central highlands of Costa Rica, western Panama and the Andes of Venezuela, 
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and N.W. Bolivia, occurring in both the western 
and eastern Andes of Colombia and Ecuador. 

Except for an account of a single nest of the Green-fionted Lancebill 
found by A. Ruschi (1961) there are no published field observations on the 
nesting or any other activities of the lancebills. The following separate 
observations on both species have been amalgamated for convenience of 
future reference. 

A nest of D. ludoviciae was found on 13 September 1972 by M. Gochfeld 
and G. S. Keith at Pan de Azucar, 25 km west of San Ramon, in the Chancho- 
mayo Valley, Department of Junin, Peru. The nest was in subtropical forest 
(elevation 1500m), placed on a 4cm wide rock ledge c 3m above the stream 
bed. It was an open cup constructed of tendrils, fine threads of plant material 
and dried moss measuring 5 x 3cm and 2cm deep. The cup itself was about 
2 x 2 x 1 cm. The entire structure was overhung by a rock shelf extending 
more than 15cm beyond the nest. The two white eggs measured 15-7 X 
1 1 • 1 and 15-6 x 11 • 1 mm. While the nest was examined, the female remained 
closeby, hovering at eye level, c 2-3 m from the observers, darting briskly 
back and forth. No male was observed near the nest, but c 100m downstream 
one was seen perched on a small branch overhanging a one metre high water- 
fall. It frequently left its perch to hover just over the spray where it captuied 
small insects with rapid darts fiom side to side. It fed for periods of 1 5 to 
20 seconds, then remained on its perch fot to 2 to 3 minutes. 

The nest of D. ludoviciae found on 26 August 195 8 by Ruschi (1961) was at 
Nanegal, Ecuador. It was built on a branch c 2m above the ground, the 
photograph showing that the branch passed through the nest mass, which was 
an open cup partly balanced on and partly suspended from the limb. The 
nest contained two eggs measuring 16 x 11 mm. 

Observations on D. johannae were made by B. K. Snow in July and early 
August 1976 near the Los Tayos caves at 600m in the forested foothills of 
the eastern Andes in the Morana-Santiago province of Ecuador (3 5' S, 
78 10' W). This large cave system has three different entrances, two of them 
vertical shafts 5 5 and 75m deep. On 1 5 July a nest containing a typical white 
elliptical hummingbird egg measuring 15 x 10mm was collected by J. K. 
Campbell at the bottom of the 75m shaft. The nest (Fig. 1), of completely 
different construction from all other hummingbird nests, was made entirely 

i2 3 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

of moss bound with a little cobweb, and was attached by a thick tab of cobweb 
to a slight rocky ovethang i^-m up from the bottom of the shaft. The internal 
cup, which was unlined, had a diameter at the rim of 30mm and a depth of 






Figure 1 . Pendent nest of the Blue-fronted Lancebill Doryferajohannae. 

29mm. The length of the whole structure was 110mm. The egg, which un- 
fortunately got broken latei, was unincubated. The nest is deposited in the 
British Museum. 

On 25 July, 10 days later, it was noticed that a male and female D.johannae 
were very active at the mouth of this same cave shaft. On 6 of the following 
8 days, observations totalling 8^ hours were made on these two individuals. 
Until midday on 1 August both male and female were persistently present 
at the shaft mouth. The male spent his time either perching on the uppermost 
twigs of a small dead tree overhanging the mouth of the shaft or flying 
round the shaft mouth c 1 5 m above it. Every few minutes, both while perched 
and while flying, he uttered a high-pitched chittering call. During the morn- 
ing observations on 26, 27 and 30 July the female was largely engaged in 
collecting nest material and diving into the shaft with it. She was twice 
watched pulling moss off a tree, each time the same one, near the mouth of 
the shaft, uttering a quiet 'click-clack' between each unsuccessful pull before 
eventually pulling off a piece and speeding into the cave with it. She was also 
watched collecting cobweb and taking it into the cave, but mostly she was 
lost to view while collecting material and only her exits and entrances to the 
cave were recorded. The most sustained bout of building observed was 
between 0935 and 1015 hours on 30 July when she made 7 visits into the 
shaft; the time spent in the cave varied from 1 to 6 minutes, averaging 2-8 

When hovering up out of the shaft the female often uttered a quiet clicking 
call, reminiscent of echo-locating clicks; she sometimes rested at the rim of 
the shaft. She flew down into the shaft at tremendous speed, the only features 
then visible against the dark mouth of the shaft being the pale tips to the 
outer tail feathers and the pale bluish-grey bars on the tail coverts. When 
flying down from the forest 25m above she did not reduce speed in any way 
as she entered the dark of the shaft. When not engaged in nest building the 
female often perched in the same dead tree as the male, sometimes only 
40cm away from him. From there she frequently flew beside or just in front 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 124 

of him on his nights round the mouth of the shaft. During both activities 
she also uttered the chittering call. At times the male flew down and met the 
female as she emerged from the shaft, and twice he displayed his bright 
yellow gape while hovering at the shaft rim near her. 

During a watch from 1000 to 1 1 30 hrs on 1 August the female only entered 
the shaft once, but was frequently present at the mouth either perched near 
the male or flying round with him uttering the chittering call. Once when 
she was flying just in front of him, she landed briefly on the flat wide blade 
of a Heliconia leaf while he hovered just above her. It looked as if copulation 
was about to occur but she flew on and out of view. Probably copulation 
did take place that morning as the female was absent that afternoon and the 
following morning. During the same period the male was only rarely present 
and was mostly silent. 

For a few minutes while the female was collecting nest material on 30 July 
a third D.johannae was in the vicinity of the shaft. The male chased the intru- 
der and once made a steep U-shaped dive at it while it was perched at the 
rim of the shaft. The sex of this third bird was not determined. The other 
shaft in the Los Tayos cave system was 65m away and used by members of 
the expedition entering the caves. An expedition member reported seeing a 
small dark hummingbird, most probably a lancebill, half way down this 
shaft. A female D.johannae was collected by L. Albuja c 400m further up the 

The evidence relating to the unknown hummingbird's nest collected on 
1 5 July to the building and courtship activities of the lancebills is strong but 
remains a supposition. The 10 day interval between the removal of the nest 
and the female building, presumably to replace it, is similar to the intervals 
recorded between loss and replacement of eggs in the Rufous-breasted (Hairy) 
Hermit Glaucis hirsuta (Snow & Snow 1973). 

The fact that D.johannae is confined to mountainous country accords with 
a need for a specialized nest-site in a rocky habitat. Nests sited only in caves 
would seem too restrictive a requirement and it is probable that nests are 
also fixed under deep overhangs in rocky gorges. The only other humming- 
bird known to suspend its nest in the same way as D.johannae is the Andean 
Hillstar Oreotrochilus este/Ia; it nests both in caves and under overhanging 
rocky ledges (Carpenter 1976). 

Throughout observations the male D.johannae made frequent fly-catching 
sallies from his perch at the mouth of the shaft, and the female was once 
seen feeding in this way. No nectar feeding was observed. The same insect 
catching technique was used by D. ludoviciae. Observations on the insect 
catching of hermit hummingbirds (Snow & Snow 1972) showed them hover- 
ing to glean resting invertebrates, so in this respect the group differs from 
the lancebills. 

Even such brief observations as these suggest that both species of Lance- 
bill have some specialized aspects of their life histories, and possibly both 
require a rocky habitat for nesting. As one species has a pendent nest and 
the other a cup-shaped one supported from below, nest-type is probably not 
a useful criteria for classification. 

Acknowledgement: The observations of B. K. Snow were made while a member of the joint 
Ecuadorean-British Expedition and I should like to thank the Los Tayos Expedition 1 976 
Trust Limited for their logistic and financial support. 

125 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

References : 

Carpenter, F. L. 1976. Ecology and evolution of an Andean hummingbird, Oreotrochilus 

estella. Univ. of Calif. Publ. in Zoology 106: 1-74. 
Peters, J. L. 1945. Check-list of Birds of the World. V. Cambridge, Mass. : Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Ridgway, R. 191 1. The birds of North and Middle America Pt. V. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 50. 
Ruschi, A. 1 96 1. Algumas observacoes sobre: Phaethornis yaruqui yarqui (Bourcier), Colihri 

coruscans coru scans (Gould), etc. Bolm. Mus. Biol. Prof. Mello-Leitao 27: 1-2 1. 
— 1965. A posicao mantida no ninho pelas femeas de beija-flores durante a incubacao, 

e durante o aquecimento da prole. Bolm Mus. Biol. Prof. Mello-Leitao 48 : 1-3. 
Snow B. K. & D. W. Snow 1972. The feeding ecology of hummingbirds in a Trinidad 

valley./. Anim. Ecol., 41: 471-485. 
Snow D. W. & Snow B. K. 1973. The breeding of the Hairy Hermit Glaucis hirsuta in 

Trinidad. Ardea 61: 106-122. 
Wetmore, A. 1968. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Smithsonian Misc. Coll. part 2. 

Addresses: Barbara K. Snow, Old Forge, Wingrave, Aylesbury, Bucks, England. 
M. Gochfeld, 147-54 Village Road, Jamaica, New York 11435, U.S.A. 

New faunistic records from Gabon 

by A. Bros set & C. Erard 

Received 8 August 1977 
In compiling a list of birds from the northeast of Gabon for restricted labora- 
tory use, we have found it desirable to publish details of the occurrence of 
certain species not previously recorded at all or only on the basis of a few 
specimens. The following records were obtained during annual or biannual 
expeditions by A. B. during 1963-77 and by C. E. during 1972-77 to the 
Laboratoire de Primatologie et d'Ecologie Equatoriale (Centre National de 
la Recherche Scientifique, Paris) at Makokou (o° 38' N, 12 47' E). Investiga- 
tions extended as far as Booue (o° 03' S, ii° 58' E), Belinga (i° io' N, 
1 3 io' E) and Mekambo (i° 03' N, 13 50' E), in the province of Ogooue- 
Ivindo. 401 species were identified, including 343 in the 2 km 2 which include 
the clearing around the station of M'Passa, where the laboratory and ecologi- 
cal quadrats bordering primary forest are established. M'Passa is only 10 km 
southwest of Makokou, and both are in the vicinity of the Ivindo River. 

A first list has already been published by Brosset & Dragesco (1967), and 
information on the distribution of certain species has been provided in other 
non-faunistic papers (Brosset 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971a, 1971b, 1974, Brosset 
& Erard 1974, 1976). In the present paper we have only included informa- 
tion which modifies materially the known distribution of the species inclu- 
ded, for passerines with particular reference to the maps of Hall & Moreau 

Gyps africanus White-backed Vulture 

A brown-backed immature observed at length at M'Passa, 18 August 
1976, circling at low altitudes above the laboratory campus eventually 
disappearing to the northeast following the Ivindo River after gaining height. 
No previous record. 

Sarothrura elegans Buff-spotted Flufftail 

Not previously recorded from Gabon (cf. Keith et al. 1970: 30). In fact it 
occurs throughout the northeast of the country, although apparently less 
abundantly than S. pulchra, rufa and boehmi. Only recognition of its striking 
song permitted discovery, heard Nov-Apr, especially at night. Normally 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 126 

the "wail" lasts 3-4 seconds; but in January 1977 one bird was heard regu- 
larly for hours emitting "wails" lasting 6 seconds followed by silences of 5 

Inhabits primary forest and old secondary growth, preferring areas of 
dense undergrowth, fallen logs, heavy marantaceous growth, and also the 
edges of streamlets, where it is found with S. pulchra, which, as well known, 
is addicted to the vicinity of water or at least muddy terrain and even marshy 
places. S. rufa and boehmi occur in clearings, not in forest: rufa in stretches of 
rank herbaceous growth in more or less marshy areas, where boehmi also 
occurs but less commonly. S. boehmi prefers and is quite common on the 
edges of similar herbage on dry ground, where the growth is shorter, with 
scattered low shrubs such as Tremum and Solarium. In the same habitat as 
boehmi and also in dense herbaceous growth (Aphramomum), on several 
occasions we have heard songs and calls corresponding to the descriptions 
of the voice of lugens by Keith et al. (1970: 49) and to the recordings by 
Chappuis (1975: 438). However, having neither collected nor even seen a 
specimen, we hesitate to admit lugens to the Gabon list. Incidentally, Keith 
et al. (1970: 47) associate its habitat with that of rufa rather than boehmi, but 
their data were scanty. 

Cercococcyx mechowi Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo 

Cercococcyx olivinus Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo 

Not recorded previously from Gabon, although their presence has been 
suspected by reason of their occurrence in southern Cameroons (Malbrant & 
Maclatchy 1949: 202, Bouet 1961: 473); but indeed both occur in north- 
eastern Gabon, olivinus being very common. Like many forest birds, recogni- 
tion of their songs (Chappuis 1974: 21 5-217) is the only means of estimating 
their abundance. Both inhabit the upper strata of primary forest, to be seen 
from time to time in foraging parties of mixed insectivorous species. In 
contrast to olivinus, mechowi seems to prefer the edges of rivers and streams 
almost exclusively. 

Chrysococcyx flavigularis Yellow-throated Green Cuckoo 
Very common in northeastern Gabon, in primary and old secondary 
forest. Only knowledge of the song (cf Chappuis 1974: 218) permits appreci- 
ation of its abundance, for it is rarely seen near the ground, and is virtually 
a permanent inhabitant of the forest canopy. 

Lophostrix (=jubula) lettii Maned Owl 

Known from Rio Muni and southern Cameroons (Malbrant & Maclatchy 
1949: 245, Bouet: 617), its occurrence in Gabon could have been suspected. 
We have seen and collected it on various occasions around Makokou. 
Without doubt less rare than it seems to be, probably because nothing is 
known about its voice. It inhabits primary forest. We have found it near 
rivers or streams, but this does not necessarily indicate that it is attached 
thereto as are the fishing owls Scotopelia peli and bouvieri. 

It seems useful to stress, in the light of our views of live birds in the field, 
how deficient is the guidance in most identification manuals. The defect in 
illustrations is not so much in colour as in shape. In nature, one is reminded 
of a small eagle owl Bubo, coloured in general a warm rufous-maroon with 
coarse, irregular cream spots on the wing-coverts, the abdomen rufous 

127 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

fawn broadly striated with blackish brown, face rufous broadly encircled 
with black but with the cheeks underlined with white and the forehead creamy 
white. The shape is very rounded, as much the body as the head, recalling 
that of Scotopelia peli as figured in plate 3 5 in Mackworth-Praed & Grant 
(1970: 485). However, the most striking and determinate character is not the 
"mane" as many illustrations represent but the very long "ears" standing up 
at 45 degrees, these tufts being much larger than those of the Long-eared 
Owl Asio otus. The plate in Burton (1973 : 1 14) is good so far as the drawing 
and general coloration are concerned. However, the facial disc and chest 
should have been a much darker rufous, and the "ears" as prominent as in 
the plate of Bubo sumatrana {pp. cit.: 90). The sexual dimorphism in size is 
very pronounced, the male being a good one-third smaller than the female. 
Also, the male has the chest more brown-grey, less rufous, and the abdominal 
striations clearly narrower than in the female. 

Reproduction is probably in the short dry season, since on 27 March 1974 
we obtained a juvenile (conserved in the Museum in Paris), of which the 
whole head and upper part of the mantle and chest are still in white down; 
while on the nape the tips are barred with rufous fawn, blackish brown and 
white. The general tone of the plumage is also lighter than in the adult, more 
uniformly cinnamon-rufous, especially on the secondaries, which lack any 
greyish brown to blackish brown vermiculations. 

Calandrella cinerea Red-capped Lark 

On several occasions, in large clearings containing very open, grassy 
areas (e.g. the Makokou airfield), we observed in the short dry season (Dec- 
Feb) Calandrella larks. One collected was C. cinerea saturatior, a form suspected 
of transequatorial movements (White 1961: 40). Nevertheless, on 12/14 
October 1973, in small enclosed savannas at Booue, several individuals were 
in song. Does the species nest in Gabon? 

Pseudochelidon eurystomina African River Martin 
The population of this species nesting in Zaire spends the off-season on 
the coast of Gabon, from late May at least until the end of October (Berlioz 
1953: 136, and especially Chapin 1953: 732). The sojourn in Gabon is doubt- 
less longer, since the birds do not reappear in numbers on their breeding 
grounds until the lowering of water-levels in the second half of January. 
In northeastern Gabon the local people did not know it and we had never 
seen it until its occurrence was verified in 1977 at Makokou. The first indivi- 
duals (11 in all) were identified by their call and peculiar shape, circling 
among some Hirundo rustica around the laboratory buildings at M'Passa 
on 22 January. From 6 to 1 1 February it was seen daily: up to 50 individuals 
at M'Passa, several hundreds at the old airfield at Makokou (600 on 6/7, 
1,000 on 8, 200 on 9, 300 on 10 and 250 on 11 Feb). On 15 February, only 
two were noted at M'Passa, on 24th 100 at Makokou, on 28th 30 at M'Passa 
and double the number next day and over 120 by 5 March. Subsequently, 
c. 50 were still at Makokou on 7, 13 and 14 March; c. 60, on 15th and c. 200 
on 16 March. At M'Passa 6 were seen on nth, 20 on 14th and 7 on 24 
March, on the eve of our departure from Gabon. 

Thus this martin was present around Makokou at a time corresponding 
to the breeding season. Excluding the observations of 24 February, 5 and 
16 March, the largest numbers were seen 6-1 1 February, which suggests a 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 128 

passage movement, with the subsequent persistence of smaller, erratic 
numbers. We were unable to explore local rivers to locate a possible breeding 
site on exposed sand-banks, and inquiries of fishermen were negative. The 
waters of the Ivindo and its tributaries were still high at that time in 1 977, 
levels being not as low as normal for the short dry season, and there were no 
entirely bare sand-banks around Makokou. However, large areas of seasonal- 
ly bare sand scarcely exist locally, but there may be more extensive ones 
upstream, in areas which it was impossible to visit. 

At M'Passa, the birds were usually seen between 0700 and 0900 hrs 
around buildings. Later in the day they hunted above the river and adjacent 
forest. At Makokou they were grouped together in the early morning, and 
especially so also in the late afternoon above the airfield, which they left at 
nightfall, apparently to resort to a roosting site on the river. At the evening 
gatherings the birds circled high up with much calling, not closely grouped 
but somewhat scattered. Aerial displays were also evident, individuals in 
pairs or trios pursuing one another, and hovering against the wind, with 
intermittent little jingling songs. At low altitudes they would concentrate 
into a packed group whose evolutions recalled those of the European 
Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Often all would rest on the large earth track of the 
airfield, or sometimes on the electric wires. At M'Passa, individuals were 
often noticed on the metallic roofs of houses or the slender branches of 
bushes. On the river, we also saw them perched on bare branches at the tops 
of tall trees. On the ground, the species resembles more a small pratincole 
than a hirundine, while some of its calls are like those of a tern. Displays 
were also witnessed on the ground, always between two individuals or a 
pair: body horizontal, tips of the wings drooping, "shoulders" part opened, 
head horizontal but neck much stretched vertically, they would run parallel 
to one another, then face each other and perform a kind of pivoted dance, 
with a lateral displacement away from one another, emitting jingling calls. 
On other occasions, one individual would approach another, in a vertically 
stretched posture, and nervously dig the ground (or even attempt it on the 
iron of a roof!) with the beak. These varied postures surely indicate that the 
birds were about to breed: suitable banks of sand must have been available 
not far away. 

Macronyx croceus Yellow-throated Longclaw 

This savanna-dweller is more widespread than is suggested by the map 
in Hall & Moreau (1970: 45). Apart from the specimens from Fernan Vaz 
and Mouila mentioned by Rand et al. (1959: 363), there exist others in the 
Museum in Paris from Franceville, Port Gentil and Nyanga. We found it 
well represented in meadows, in enclosed savanna, at Booue. 

Motacilla alba White Wagtail 

An example of this Palaearctic migrant was well seen at Makokou, 22 
December 1972; apparently the first record from Gabon. 

Alethe poliocephala Brown-chested Alethe 

With reference to the observations on A. poliocephala by Brosset & Erard 
(1976: 224-230), C. W. Benson has drawn our attention to the evident 
similarity of a nest (especially its site in a cleft some 4 m above the ground) 
and eggs of Alethe choloensis (Benson & Benson 1947: 284), which is in the 
same superspecies as poliocephala (Hall & Moreau 1970: 120). 

1 29 [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 

Turdus camaronensis Black-eared Ground-thrush 

Up to the present only T. princei was known from Gabon (Brosset & 
Erard 1976: 220). However, at M'Passa on 30 June 1976 we caught in a 
mistnet an immature ground-thrush which caused us to suspect initially, but 
wrongly (cf. Chapin 1953: 576), that T. camaronensis was merely the young of 
princei. In January and February 1977 we caught two pairs, certainly adult. 
One of the birds was unfortunately killed in the nets by a predator on 1 
January, and is now in the Museum in Paris. It proved to be a male with 
testes much developed, evidently ready to breed. It has been compared by 
C. W. Benson and C. H. Fry with specimens in the British Museum, and 
agrees with specimens from southern Cameroons of the nominate race. 

The difference in size between the two species is clear not only from meas- 
urements {cf. Prigogine 1965) but also from weights. Two princei captured 
weighed 59 and 61 g, whereas 5 camaronensis had a mean of 44 (42-47) g. 
Ecological separation between the two species is not yet evident : they have 
both been found in the under storey of primary forest or at the lowest levels. 
T. princei was observed on the ground searching for food, turning over dead 
leaves, and excavating the earth accumulated on dead stumps, branches and 
decomposed trunks in dense areas of fallen wood. T. camaronensis was like- 
wise caught in such dense areas or their edges. Perhaps there is no difference 
in habitat, perhaps only in diet, in the kinds and sizes of food taken. It is 
remarkable that between 15 December 1976 and 25 March 1977 no nest of 
camaronensis was found, though 4 adults were captured, including (as above) 
one in breeding condition. On the other hand, three clutches of eggs of 
princei (c/i, c/2, c/3) were discovered, but none was caught. It is also surpris- 
ing that no song was ever heard, but merely some contact calls between a 
pair of princei (a "tsssrrr" drawn out at the end, rolling, very reminiscent of 
the calls of Fraseria cinerascens or Muscicapa caerulescens). 

Picathartes oreas Red-headed Rockfowl 

The map in Hall & Moreau (1970: 149) does not show any Gabonese 
locality. This cave-lover nests at Belinga from March to May (Brosset 1965). 

Acrocephalus baeticatus African Reed Warbler 

A male collected on 18 April 1965 at Makokou, in a dense growth of 
sugar-cane near habitations, is the first record. The specimen (now in the 
Museum in Paris) has been compared by C. W. Benson with the material 
in the British Museum of A. b. cinnamomeus (6 specimens from Darfur and 
9 from Zambia and Malawi), A. b. nyong (only known by the type, from 
Cameroons) and the type of A. b. minor. It is referable to cinnamomeus, which 
is confirmed by C. H. Fry, who examined it independently. 

Sylvia communis Whitethroat 

During January 1973 one was observed daily in the ornamental bushes of 
a garden at M'Passa. It occupied a very small territory (c. 40 x 40 m), and 
fed under the verandah of a house on insects attracted to a lamp left alight 
through the night. This warbler, the only individual we have ever seen in 
Gabon, is unusual in a forested region (cf. Moreau 1972: 109). 

Apalis nigriceps Black-capped Apalis 

Not previously recorded. C. Chappuis believes he heard it in the Makokou 
area, but without proof. In March 1977 we saw it at Belinga, but could not 

[Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1977: 97(4)] 1 30 

obtain a specimen. It inhabits the top of the canopy of primary forest, 
where it is very difficult to detect except on the edges of clearings. It was 
impossible to estimate its abundance since at the time it was not singing. 

Apalis goslingi Gosling's Apalis 

Fairly common in primary forest on the edges of large water-courses and 
on islets in the Ivindo River, in pairs, exploring the middle and upper strata 
of the vegetation. Hall & Moreau (1970: 186) and White (1962: 705) regard 
it as a race of A. sharpii , but the voice of goslingi is quite different from that 
of sharpii, as shown by a comparison of tape recordings made in Gabon and 
the Ivory Coast. On the other hand, the voices of sharpii and rufogularis are 
very similar (C. Chappuis, pers. comm.). 

Muscicapidae Flycatchers 

An etho-ecological study and taxonomic revision of all 30 species of 
flycatchers occurring in northeastern Gabon is in preparation (C. E.). In 
this note it is only necessary to bear in mind the salient faunistic data in Hall